As an initiative to increase tourism, Tourism Minister Prahlad Singh Patel introduced e-visa for peak and lean seasons. In comparison to the conventional visas offered, these visas would attract tourists as they will be cheaper and easier to issue visas for short term trips planned in India. 

He said,” India will now offer 30-day e-visas during lean periods between April and June, which will be priced at $10. The fee for peak tourism period from July to March will be $25.” He added that a new five-year e-visa, priced at $80, will also come into effect, while the one-year e-visa will be offered at $40. Also, no visa fees will apply for tourists from 14 Pacific Island nations of the Forum for India-Pacific Islands Cooperation (FIPIC) group, which includes Fiji, Cook Islands, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Niue Island, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu. The same norm is applicable to Myanmar, Argentina, Indonesia, Jamaica, Mauritius, Seychelles, South Africa and Uruguay. For Japan, Singapore, and Sri Lanka one and five-year visas are priced at $25, whereas for the United States for 30 days to give five-years will range from $10 to $80. In order to boost the number of tourists, meetings were held by Patel with ambassadors and diplomats from different missions, in which it was suggested that a simplified visa structure could be helpful to achieve an increase in tourists’ footfall. Tourism trade officials had asked him to ease visa fees as this was sending potential tourists to other South Asian nations. Ministry officials have informed that a revised visa structure has been sent to the ministry of external affairs for consideration. 

The Union Minister had explored ways of developing an app that would be advantageous in providing information about tourism services as well as work as a grievance redressal mechanism. Ideas for the adoption of adventure tourism and “bed and breakfast” facilities, homestay guidelines by states were also taken up. Along with this, ‘Incredible India’ had a Hindi version launched, with the Arabic, Chinese and Spanish versions of the website to be launched by the next month. According to the officials,  The new portal was launched on June 14 last year, and it has already attracted 8.5 million visitors, including 6.5 million unique visitors till July 31.

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