The Hush Post: In a good news for the Indian tourists, several countries have eased the visa and entry procedures for the Indians in the last about 10 months and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is latest to join such countries with an increasing number of Indian visitors becoming a significant source of revenue for the UAE.
The UAE has decided to grant free 48-hour transit visas that can be extended by another 96 hours for 50 dirhams (Rs 1,000) after India overtook Saudi Arabia to emerge as the number one source market for Dubai last year. Japan, the Middle East, and Central Europe are among other destinations adopting a more welcoming manner, a report said.
Earlier, Israel had declared a reduction in the visa fee for Indian tourists to Rs 1,100 from Rs 1,700 in May this year. This month it introduced an express visa that’s available in two working days. The revised application fee is for the B2 visa, which includes tourism, the report said.
Similarly, Japan had relaxed norms for Indians seeking multiple-entry visas for short-term stays from January 1 this year.
Another Gulf country Oman will give visas on arrival to Indians who hold a visa or residence permit for countries such as the US, Australia, UK, Japan and the Schengen countries. This can also be availed of by accompanying spouses and children, it was reported.
The UN World Tourism Organization predicts India will account for 50 million outbound tourists by 2020, up from 20 million by 2017, the report said.