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FAITH wants open borders for travel

Stating that several countries have either opened or are in the process of opening up their borders to fully vaccinated travellers with the impact of Omicron subsiding, it has requested the Ministry of Tourism to take up the matter with the Ministry of Health and relax the rules in India as well.

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Mumbai: The Federation of Association in Indian Tourism and Hospitality (FAITH) on Monday said it has urged the government to open international travel borders, extend free tourist e-visa and begin international marketing. “FAITH, the policy federation of all the national associations representing the complete tourism, travel and hospitality industry of India, has placed an urgent request on the opening up of India’s international borders to tourists and to permit all commercial flights in full strength to operate to and fro from India,” the association said in a statement here.

“FAITH has requested MoT to take up with the Ministry of Health, the same for India and announce the opening up of our borders and resumption of full commercial flights with zero quarantine to fully vaccinated travellers across all Indian ports,” it said.

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The association noted that the Indian inbound travel and outbound travel industry has been shut for the past 23 months. “In the pre-Covid year of 2019-20, the Indian travel industry had received almost 10.9 million foreign tourists and almost $30 billion or Rs 2.12 lakh crore in revenue and was engaged in travel planning for almost 26.9 million outbound travellers from India.

Both these lines of businesses have been completely closed, rendering huge distress, unemployment and financial burden on employees and enterprises of the Indian travel industry in the absence of that work,” it added. FAITH has also requested for extension of the scheme to issue free e-visa to 5 lakh tourists for the whole duration of 2022-24 till the inbound travel recovers.

The scheme is applicable till March 31, 2022, or 5 lakh visas, whichever is earlier. To ensure that Indian tourism is able to regain and then build on its market share of one per cent, which was pre-Covid in the global inbound travel, FAITH has also sought for the immediate rollout of global marketing campaign across all digital, print, electronic and OOH media in all global markets of India. 

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