Airlines, hotels unsure of gains despite lifting of visa curbs

The home ministry on Thursday further relaxed visa restrictions, enabling foreigners to come to India for various purposes such as business, conference, employment, education, research and medical purposes. However, the ban on tourist visas contin...

NEW DELHI: Airlines and hospitality firms are hopeful but not sure that the government’s decision to allow foreigners to come into the country for all purposes other than tourism will boost their businesses.

“It is a welcome step indeed, especially for PIO/OCI travelling to India for holidays/festivals but will have to see, if this produces a significant uptick in demand,” said an executive of an airline operating in the international sector.

Hotels, though, are unlikely to see any uptick in their business from the move, experts said. “Hotel bookings can only improve if tourists are allowed to visit,” said Nishant Pitti, CEO of easemytrip.com.


The home ministry on Thursday further relaxed visa restrictions, enabling foreigners to come to India for various purposes such as business, conference, employment, education, research and medical purposes. However, the ban on tourist visas continues.

An executive of a low-cost carrier said demand can see a rise if tourist visas are allowed.

Another executive said even if the government allows international tourists, the numbers may not be significant. “One does not know whether tourists would prefer to travel during these times since there is no vaccine yet,” the person said on condition of anonymity.
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Pitti said the government is right in not allowing tourist visas. “We would not want to increase our daily Covid curve, which is declining right now.”
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