Biometric testing requisite for British tourists wanting to travel to India
Posted on March 5, 2015
British tourists wanting to travel to India will now have to turn up at an application centre and be fingerprinted in order to get a visa. The process will start from mid-March and is causing significant concern to travel agencies who offer holidays to India.
Diana Syrett’s agency “Kerala Connections” offers tailor-made holidays to Kerala. She says that this is going to disrupt her business.
Tour operators fear that the requirement for biometric testing before their intended travel date is an extra hurdle that will put off potential visitors.
The changes are something of a surprise after India recently simplified its visa process for tourists from other countries, which included Australia, Germany, Finland, Japan and New Zealand, by offering them a visa on arrival in the country.
Vivek Angra, President-Head Business Development of Travel World Experiences, says, “In the last few years the travel industry and the clients got used to whole affairs of transition from physical visa to online forms and everything else. At this point of time when there is so much unrest around the world, the travel industry here was looking for promoting India. On the other hand, instead of easing the restriction to travel to India, this whole thing has come about wherein it will become more difficult.”
For a lot of tour operators, India has been a difficult market to sell due to the complicated visa application process and now this new requirement to physically apply will only add to the costs.
The Association of tour operators have approached the Indian High Commission to lodge their concerns regarding the timing of this new regulation.
Compare to other Asian tourist destinations, getting a tourist visa to India is expensive as it is and these new biometric regulations are going to cost further problems.