China excited about India’s visa-on-arrival plan

BEIJING (TIP): China’s government and the tourism industry are both excited about the prospects of India offering visa-on-arrival facility to Chinese tourists. Industry sources said this will result in more than doubling the number of Chinese tourists visiting India.

“Many Chinese are put off by complicated visa procedures. If visa on arrival is introduced it will double the number of visitors from China to India,” Liang Yaofeng, managing director of Beijing Nimbus International Travel Service, told TOI.

Both India and China have introduced visa on arrival for a section of world travelers. But they have not extended the facility for travelers from each other’s countries. Some observers think Prime Minister Narendra Modi would make an announcement about extending VOA for Chinese tourists during his forthcoming visit to Beijing in May.

“We welcome this,” Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said when asked about an India move to offer the VOA facility for the world’s biggest travelers, the Chinese tourists.

But Hus hedged her bets when asked if China would make a reciprocal gesture towards Indian tourists if New Delhi opted for the VOA scheme for Chinese visitors.

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“We are willing to work with the Indian side to facilitate the personal exchanges between the two countries and promote mutual understanding and mutual trust between two people and lay solid foundation for the bilateral cooperation,” she said. Indian businesses connected with tourism in China feel that VOA scheme will be a major success.

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