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19th January 2013
Travellers planning to visit India this year are set to be affected by soaring visa costs
The fee for a single visa – valid for up to six months – increased by £44 on Thursday (17 January), from £38 to £82. An additional 'processing fee' has also increased from £1 to £10.20. The new prices will see a family of four pay more than £200 extra for a trip to the country.
David Abram, author of our recent Ultimate two-week trip guide to India, thinks the new fees will put some visitors off: “I think the price hike is deplorable, and demonstrates a total lack of joined-up thinking on the part of the Indian government. Will charging over £100 for a visa deter some foreign tourists from visiting? Of course. No doubt about it. And you have to bear in mind how hit-and-miss their application process is. My last visa took three attempts (with expensive special delivery charges each time).
“For a family of four dithering over whether to book a fortnight in the Dominican Republic or Kerala, this could well swing it,” he added.
Amrit Singh, Managing Director of India tour specialist TransIndus, hopes the Indian government may revise the new charges: “This is a significant increase which could impact tourism in the long term and we are hopeful of the government giving serious consideration to its review and revision downwards. It has been known to happen in the past, so there is hope.”
Along with the expected increase in APD in April, set to affect flight prices to the country by £8 per person, David went on to say India is not as budget friendly as people assume: “The cost of accommodation (particularly mid- and high-end) and car hire have gone through the roof in the past two years. India's no longer the dead cheap destination it was, not if you aim to travel in any degree of comfort.”
Would the hike in price for a visa put you off travelling to India? Do you disagree with David and think India is still budget-friendly? Post your thoughts and comments below.
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I guess they are aiming to try and get rid of the hippie travelers that go there and aim for the family market..
Actually I heard this is a reciprocal price rise, UK has made it much more expensive for Indians to get visas for the UK, so they put their prices up for Brits.
Trying to plan a two-week trip to India? Then the current issue of Wanderlust magazine is perfect for you! Find out more here
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