HomeIndustryVietnam visas to Indians up 24 times from pre pandemic levels

Vietnam visas to Indians up 24 times from pre pandemic levels

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NEW DELHI: The number of visas issued by Vietnam to Indians has grown 24 times compared to pre-pandemic levels, said Pham Sanh Chau, Vietnam’s envoy to India. 

The country issued just about 250 visas a day before the coronavirus pandemic and immigration authorities are now issuing 6,000 visas a day to Indians, making it the single largest in-bound market into Vietnam at the moment, he said.

Addressing the Outbound Tourism Summit organised by FICCI, the ambassador said the reasons behind the increase was proximity and the opening up of direct flights between the two countries. He said there will be 17 direct flights between major cities of India and Vietnam.

Dr Stephan Hesselmann, Minister Counsellor, Deputy Head, Department for Economical & Global Affairs, Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, New Delhi, who was also at the event, said tourism can lead to business opportunities as well. He also referred to the recently launched free trade negotiations between the EU and India. “We want to increase our economic relations, and tourism is one significant economic factor.” Hesselman also referred to the huge demand for visas at the moment as being impossible in the short term and urged people to apply early enough for travels.

Hotel companies are banking on greater inbound tourism. 

Dr Jyotsna Suri, past president FICCI, Chairperson, FICCI Travel, Tourism & Hospitality Committee & CMD of The Lalit Suri Hospitality Group added, ‘We survived this entire pandemic on domestic tourism. But that is not sufficient. We have to have a healthy inbound and outbound to be a complete tourism destination. There were almost 27 million Indians who travelled outside of India, which is double the tourists that came into India.“

During the past few months, Indian travel operators have recorded an increase in business. Industry participants like Ankush Nijhawan, Chairman, FICCI Outbound Tourism Committee and MD of the Nijhawan Group, said there is a revival in tourism and that it was now seeing a major growth.

“Between FY16-19, there were more than 1.5 trillion outbound trips, and 135 destinations received more than a million arrivals. But many of us do not realise how large the market is. Tourists spent $9 trillion in 2019, growing at about 5% from 2016. This will grow to $11.5 trillion in FY24,” said Nijhawan.

Nijhawan added that “the market has come back faster than what the experts thought with airport issues in places like Heathrow, London challenges with visa, it is because we never realised how quickly the market will recover.“

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