India introduced E-Visa facility for 43 countries on 27th November, 2014. The move received high praises from the tourism industry across the world. However, what led to their disappointment is the fee of $60 for a month’s visa.
Industry experts believe that a lower visa fee could attract more tourists from these 43 countries. Because when compared to another Sri Lanka, which charges only $15 to nationals of SAARC countries and $30 to other nationals, and China around $40 for a single entry visa and a little more for a double entries visa, Indian visa is priced too high.
The fee has to be paid online at least four days before the expected date of arrival at any of the nine airports in India – Bangalore, Chennai, Kochi, Delhi, Goa, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai and Trivandrum. It’s $60 (excluding bank transaction charges) per person and is non-refundable, and is for a non-extendable and non-convertible visa.
India has been issuing a visa-on-arrival to 12 countries earlier for $60 and has recorded an increase in tourists year after year. So it’s too early to comment whether Indian E-Visa fee for ETA is high or an okay figure for the tourists.
Indian Tourism Ministry is expecting a rise of 10% in 2015 with Online ETA (Electronic Travel Authorization) facility now live. However, if the growth is not as expected, then the ministry has to bow to the demands of the international tourist operators and reconsider the visa fee.