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More Russians visiting India with eased visa rules

INDIA is seeing a surge in Russian arrivals, catalysed by the easing of visa regulations last year.

  26/04/2012 13:55

Since June 2011, the Indian Embassy in Moscow has started issuing six-month multiple-entry visas for Russian tourists instead of one-month single entry visas, and reduced the issuance period from two weeks to three days.

The Indian Embassy in Moscow issued about 150,000 visas last year, a rise of 24 per cent from 2010, and a significant increase from 54,000 Russian visitors in 2006. The trend is set to continue this year, with Russian arrivals in January/February 2012 recording a 20 per cent year-on-year growth.

Arun Varma, managing director, Allways Travel New Delhi, said: “Russia and some of the CIS countries have emerged as a major source market for Indian inbound, and because of their disposable income, the volume and receipts from these markets will continue to grow.”

Goa, which is frequented by Russians, received 133,000 Russian visitors last year. Between January 1 and April 15 this year, 520 out of 910 charter flights to Goa were from Russia, bringing 95,000 tourists.

Other destinations popular with Russian tourists include the Delhi-Agra-Jaipur route, Kerala, Kulu-Manali and Haridwar-Rishikesh in north India, Odisha in the east, and Andaman & Nicobar Islands in the south.

To augment the growing Russian inbound market, the Indian government will open a tourism marketing office in Moscow later this year.

(Source: TTG Asia)

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