The spate of new announcements by PM Narendra Modi during his trip to the US is set to give a new boost to Inbound Tourism to India, besides giving the much-needed flip to the new investments in India, feel travel trade pundits that Traworld talked to. This new boost to inbound tourism is expected from even countries like the US, in the light of new eased visa rules for US tourists, as announced by PM Modi, besides countries in Europe.
The market has already started showing signals that the travel Industry is set to see a new dawn. The impact has already been seen on the shares of Indian travel-related companies like Cox & Kings Ltd., which has seen the greatest rise in the last nine months. Shares of companies like Thomas Cook (India) Ltd., Indian Hotels Company (a flagship of Taj brand of luxury hotels) too have shown a good rise.
As per new announcements by PM Modi at an event at Madison Square Garden in New York City during his visit to the United States, the U.S. tourists to India will be issued visas on arrival and identification documents for non-resident Indians will be merged into a single category. The rule changes will be implemented very soon, the PM said. PM Modi also announced that a person of Indian origin will get a lifelong visa for India. The so-called PIO card will eventually be combined with the Overseas Citizen of India or OCI document, removing differences between the way groups of non-resident Indians were categorized and issued visas.
Travel gurus that Traworld talked to are of opinion that investors now expect more tourists to come after PM Modi’s announcement. Easing of rules for Indians living abroad may also lead to more travel activities. The boost to visas is a positive development for U.S. tourists and is part of the PM Modi’s initiative of using travel and tourism to promote growth and trade.
Praise has been forthcoming from even people like industrialist Lord Swraj Paul, who have welcomed the series of steps for NRIs announced by PM Narendra Modi. Paul feels that it was for the first time in three decades that the Indian NRI community is feeling that their contribution to the country has been recognized and they have been made to feel like full members of the Indian community. “I congratulate Mr Modi on his speech and all of us are grateful to him,” Paul said.
Paul even said that in 1983, a large part of the business and political establishment in India, supported by vested interests, derided the Non-Resident Indians as being not wanted.
“The NRI community now hopes that these people will understand the opportunity that has been missed as to how much could have been contributed to the country in those years,” Paul said in a statement.
“I am sure the Indian diaspora will now respond to Mr Modi’s call as NRIs feel very proud of being Indians,” he said.
What the premier has called “small gestures” are actually big step forward and “we are all proud of Mr Modi as Prime Minister,” Lord Swraj Paul, chairman of Caparo Industries, said.
The Indian diaspora would like to see a strong, clean and healthy India, he said.
“The NRIs are committed to seeing India forge ahead as a strong nation and they are the best ambassadors for India,” Paul said.
Paul further said: “My heartfelt congratulations to Mr Modi on his commitment, his vision and his passion to see India take its rightful place in the world. We will all pledge to work hard to make this a reality.”