We are pleased to see the actions taken by ABTA following the announcement of the Biometric requirements for Indian Visas. The below was the lead article in ABTA Today (their weekly magazine to the travel trade).
Visas play an incredibly important role in the tourism industry. Countries wishing to attract UK tourists must strike the right balance of ensuring that security and border requirements are met while not making the process of obtaining a visa too onerous. Customers need a clear understanding of what they have to do and sufficient time to obtain the necessary documents. We are therefore concerned about the Indian Authorities’ recent announcement to move to a system where tourist visas can only be obtained via a face-to-face interview after making an online appointment. We believe this risks deterring UK nationals from booking travel to India. We have written to the Indian High Commission asking them to reconsider and outlined the risks of such an approach. Last year, following a similar request from ABTA, the Turkish authorities decided to give a longer lead in time for the abolition of visas on arrival. I would hope that the Indian Authorities will take an equally sensible approach.