BEIJING: In an important move that is poised to boost people-to-people contacts between Asia’s leading economies, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced New Delhi’s decision to grant e-visas to Chinese tourists.
“We have decided to extend electronic tourist visas to Chinese nationals,” the prime minister said while addressing students and faculty at the renowned Tsinghua University in Beijing on May 16.
The prime minister underlined that despite the population of India and China accounting for nearly 33 percent of world’s population, the people of the two countries know very less of each other. There was a need to take inspirations from pilgrims and historians of the two nations, who travelled across the globe in a quest of acquiring knowledge, and enriched us with same.
“So, we have decided to extend electronic tourist visas to Chinese nationals. We are celebrating the Year of India in China in 2015,” he added.
There has been a constant increase in the number of Chinese travelers visiting the other neighboring countries like Nepal, Sri Lanka and Maldives. Where Nepal saw an increase of 70 percent, Sri Lanka witnessed a surge of 130 percent Chinese tourists flocking in the countries over the last year. However, India did not get many Chinese tourists, largely due to cumbersome visa procedures. Against this backdrop, India announced ‘Visit India Year’ in China’ with an aim to attract more Chinese tourists to the country and boost its tourism revenue.
China is home to the world’s largest Buddhist population, and the e-visa scheme is expected to sharply enhance the flow of Chinese tourists to ‘Land of Buddha.”.
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