GOA WANTS VISAS TO BE ISSUED IN 10 DAYS TO UP TOURIST INFLOW

PANJIM: In an attempt to contain drop in foreign tourist arrivals in Goa due to visa issues, the state government has requested the Centre to ensure that the process to issue visa be cut short from 3 weeks to 10 days. The state has written to External Affairs Minister S M Krishna after few of the chartered flights had to delay their landing in Goa due to visa problems.
The Travel and Tourism Association of Goa (TTAG) had addressed this issue to the state government fearing that it will hamper the foreign tourist inflow in the coastal state. "When TTAG approached us on this visa issue, we escalated the matter to the state Tourism Minister as well as the Chief Minister immediately," State Tourism Director Swapnil Naik told PTI over e-mail from London, where he is on an official visit.
Naik claimed that S M Krishna has promised to review the situation and possibly reduce the time required for processing tourist visas from the present three weeks to about a week or 10 days. "Goa Chief Minister Digambar Kamat has also urged Krishna to look into the matter urgently, while on a recent visit to Delhi," he added. State Tourism Minister Nilkant Halarnkar said the state is committed towards encouraging tourism and support the industry in every way.
TTAG was apprehensive after chartered flights from Poland delayed their arrivals by one and half months. The state lost around 1500 tourists after seven flights from Poland were cancelled due to delay in issuing visa. The operators were supposed to have weekly chartered flight from first week of November but it was postponed till December 15. – PTI

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