the Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) expressed sincere gratitude to the Government of India for the decision to resume regular international air operations from March 27, 2022.
According to Mr. Rajiv Mehra, President of IATO: “Even though the decision was on the cards, it is still a great relief for the entire travel and tourism fraternity, and we look forward to the relaunch of international tourism in the country.Furthermore, to improve the flow of foreign tourists to the country, we urge the government to reinstate all visas that were issued earlier but suspended due to the pandemic.
“Outraged [this]we call on the government to resume multiple entry visas and e-Visas for countries that have been banned especially from source markets like UK, Canada etc. We are also calling on the government to extend the validity of [the] free tourist visa until March 31, 2024, with no cap of 5 lakh free tourist visas.
The President of the Confederation of Tourism Professionals and former President of the Indian Association of Tour Operators, Subhash Goyal, said: “On behalf of the Confederation of Tourism Professionals and the entire aviation and Tourism, I would like to thank our Honorable Civil Aviation Minister, Sh. Jyotiraditya Scindia Ji; the Secretary of Civil Aviation; Honorable Minister of Tourism; Honorable Secretary of Tourism; and the entire Ministry of Tourism and DGCA for finally announcing the start of regular international flights from the 27th of this month.
“I am sure that e-Visa for all countries in the world will also resume soon, and we will start promoting our beautiful country in a big way.
“The entire aviation and tourism industry, including tourist taxi drivers, tour guides, small tour operators, sellers of souvenirs to tourists, [and] craftsmen have been suffering for more than 2 years. Many of them have gone bankrupt and others are hanging on [by] a fine thread. This announcement came like a light at the end of the tunnel, and we are confident that inbound tourism to India will rebound in a big way, and between October and December of this year we should be close to pre-COVID levels.
“Air fares will also drop significantly, [and] hopefully the price of fuel might start to come down once the war situation between Ukraine and Russia becomes easy. With the opening of the skies, we look forward to India becoming the hub of aviation as announced by Honorable Minister of Civil Aviation, Sh. Jyotiraditya Scindia ji.
“In 2019, India earned $30 billion in foreign currency from inbound international tourism, and we expect that amount to grow to $50 billion in the next 2 years, and the millions of people who had lost their jobs will be re-employed again.”
Vishal Suri, Managing Director of SOTC Travel, had this to say about the Civil Aviation Ministry’s recent announcement: “India’s open skies are a critical pivot on the industry’s recovery path. The recent announcement by the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) to resume scheduled international commercial passenger services from March 27 will therefore provide much-needed relief to the sector, especially as it comes during the booking season. key of India for spring and summer school. vacations.”