Panaji, Aug 4 : The Goa government has decided to take up the issue of ‘e-Visa’ to the UK with the Central government to help the tourism industry of the state.
Goa tourism Minister Rohan Khaunte on Thursday said that providing e-Visa is also important for the state to get the same flow of people, which the government is looking forward.
He was speaking during a meeting of the World Travel and Tourism Council-India, here.
“Chief Minister Pramod Sawant in his forthcoming meeting with Home Minister (Amit Shah) will sort out the issue of e-Visa as far as the UK is concerned. We will try our level best. e-Visa which is important for you, same is for the government, as the same flow of people we are looking forward,” Khaunte said.
Rohan Khaunte had earlier said that the coastal state’s tourism is predominantly dependent on the UK and Russia, and some parts of Europe. “Government is taking all steps to get a good footfall with good spending,” he had said.
In 2019, about 71,27,000 were domestic tourists who arrived in Goa, while 9,31,000 were foreign tourists. But this number dropped in 2020 and 2021 as Covid pandemic had struck the coastal state.
Congress MLA Aleixo Sequeira, in recently concluded assembly session, had demanded that the central government should make the UK eligible for e-visa and also bring fees of visa on par to other countries.
Travel and Tourism Association of Goa (TTAG), in June, had urged Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant to convince the central government to include UK, Canada, Kyrgyzstan and other nations for issuance of e-visas.
TTAG had stated that Goa’s tourism sector has suffered due to withdrawal of e-visa for travellers from the UK, Canada, Kyrgyzstan and other countries.
According to TTAG, mostly senior citizens from the UK visit Goa and hence they find it difficult to apply for a regular paper visa at the Indian embassy, which involves additional cost of travelling and other expenses.