Visa Fee Increase by India Will Effect Travels to India
GOPIO is surprised with the sudden increase in visa fee by the Government of India. The Indian visa rate was revised with an increase of 153 per cent, effective April 1, which created mixed reaction from Malaysians and tour agents.
As temporary relief the Indian High Commissioner to Malaysia T. S. Tirumurti has directed the visa rate for Malaysian tourists for less than six months be maintained at RM188 without any increase.
Substantial numbers of PIOs from Malaysia travel to India and Malaysians have expressed their shock and dejection with this sudden hike in Indian visa fee.
It is notable that the proposed visa fee for Malaysians visiting India has increased from RM180 to RM456. On the other hand, Indian tourists visiting Malaysia get visa-free arrival for a stay of 15 days and less.
It is appreciated that the Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak had announced a 15 days Visa fee free travel for tourists from India to Malaysia, to encourage tourism.
According to Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz, Malaysia aims to attract 1 million tourists from India in 2017. India ranks as the sixth biggest source of tourists for Malaysia, with 722,141 Indian visitors recorded in 2015 and Malaysia received 540,530 Indian tourists between January and October last year, according to the latest statistics.
Most Governments promote tourism as a strong factor of their country’s economy growth. It is estimated that an average tourist spends approximately USD 1,500 per visit. For every million tourist, it works up to USD 1.5 billion.
GOPIO would like to see the move by the Indian High Commission to maintain the visa fee at RM188 be firmed up as any sudden increase will discourage traveling to India.
GOPIO Malaysia Information Bureau.