Australia India Business Council welcomes E-visa

e-visaMELBOURNE: The Indian government’s decision to offer e-visa facility to international tourists from 43 nations will encourage more businesses to travel to the country and spur growth, Australia India Business Council has said.

“This certainly is a great initiative as it will encourage many more businesses to travel more readily to India which will in the long run contribute to a stronger Australia-India business & trade relationship,” AIBC national vice chair Sheba Nandkeolyar said.

Welcoming the new Indian government’s decision of offering e-visa facility to international tourists from 43 nations, including Australia, Nandkeolyar said the new move would contribute to “stronger business and trade ties between the two sides.”

“We often receive desperate calls from Australian businessmen who request us to help them expedite their business visas to visit India for business purposes,” she said.

“E-visas on arrival would make it much easier for businessmen to travel to India,” Nandkeolyar said adding that,”AIBC is very pleased with the launch of this new initiative.”

She said the new initiative would also open up medical tourism and spur tourists growth for India.

“Truly a very strong message to the world that India is getting rid of complicated ways and embracing more simplified and easier ways in keeping with today’s lifestyle,” Nandkeolyar said of the decision.

Earlier this week, the government announced the much-awaited electronic-visa system for visitors from 43 countries, including the US, Australia, Brazil, Germany, Japan and Russia.

A tourist from these countries would now be able to apply for an e-visa through the designated website and pay the fee online to get an Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) within 72 hours.

The facility will be available initially at nine airports – Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Kochi, Thiruvanthapuram, Hyderabad and Goa.

The addition of 43 countries is the first phase of the roll out and more countries will soon be added. E-visa will be valid for 30 days and a tourist can avail the facility twice a year.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his recent visit to Australia also signed an agreement on promoting tourism with his Australian counterpart Tony Abbott.

Modi had further sought Australian investment in the tourism sector, especially cruise tourism. -PTI