With a view to encourage Foreign Tourist Arrival (FTA), the Government has decided to provide collective landing permits. According to the revised procedure, foreign tourists in groups of four or more arriving by air or sea and sponsored by Indian travel agencies approved by the Ministry of Tourism and with a pre-drawn itinerary may be granted collective landing permit for a period not exceeding 60 days, with multiple entry facilities to enable them to visit neighbouring countries. In order to avail of this facility the tourists or travel agencies shall mandatorily fill in an application online.
A complete list of members along with printed visa application and their itinerary would be submitted by the tourists or travel agencies to the Foreigner’s Regional Registration Office/Foreigner’s Registration office at Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkatta, Amritsar, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram, Calicut, Goa and Lucknow concerned 72 hours in advance. The tourists or travel agencies shall also give an undertaking to conduct the group as per the itinerary and extend a further assurance that no individual would be allowed to drop out from the group at any place.
It may be recalled that Prime Minister’s Office has been monitoring the progress of visa simplification. Union Tourism Minister K. Chiranjeevi met the Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde recently in this context, when he was assured that Ministry of Home Affairs would simplify visa procedures further.
Chiranjeevi welcomed the new initiative. In a statement he said, “This was a move forward and would go a long way towards boosting group travel to India, and would also give a boost to the tourism industry in the country”.
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