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Ease visa norms for free movement of tourists, says United Nations body

Posted on April 16, 2013
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The United Nations World Tourism Organisation has decided to exchange best practices and strategies within countries while favouring easing visa process for tourists.

This was disclosed by Union Minister of State for Tourism K. Chiranjeevi on the conclusion of the two-day UNWTO conference in Hyderabad late on Saturday.

Referring to the visa-on-arrival facility, the Minister said 11 countries have already been extended this facility and six more countries would get the facility soon. Hyderabad would be one of the airports to have this facility, he added.

Taleb Rifai, Secretary-General, UNWTO said, the two-day conference deliberated on easing visa regimes, taxation policies and aviation connectivity to promote tourism.

Rifai urged the member countries to ease visa norms and procedures and, thereby, enable free movement of tourists between countries. Referring to tourism as a sector with immense significance for the economy and job creation, he said easing visa norms would encourage more people to travel.

He said reports suggest that one in every seven people is venturing out of their place to travel across borders. And countries that cause difficulties in their travel prospects due to visa norms were hurting them.

The conference shared the concept of global observatories for sustainable tourism. These observatories would be closely monitored, evaluated and information shared with members for promoting sustainable tourism, Chiranjeevi said.

During the conference, in which delegates from more than 24 countries participated, it was also decided to support the candidature of Cambodia for hosting the 21st session of the General Assembly of UNWTO.

Chiranjeevi said the endeavour of the Tourism Ministry would be to bring more international events to India and make the country a leading destination for conventions and events.

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