The problem of lengthy wait instances for U.S. visas, significantly for Indian candidates, stands out amidst the general enhance in U.S. visa purposes and issuances.
Demand for U.S. visas from Indian vacationers are at document highs. However 500-day wait instances or longer proceed to hinder journey to the U.S.
The State Division confirmed the record-breaking issuance of over 140,000 pupil visas to Indians. The U.S. embassy and consulates in India stated they issued practically 8 million customer visas for enterprise and tourism for the latest fiscal 12 months. That is the very best output recorded since 2016. A near-historic 10.4 million non-immigrant visas have been granted worldwide.
India will not be alone in its visa dilemma. Wait instances for first-time customer visas in Colombia and Mexico are equally excessive. The U.S. Journey Affiliation forecasts these delays will price the trade $12 billion in misplaced traveler spending this 12 months.
The U.S. State Division has launched measures to handle visa backlogs like waiving interview necessities and increasing weekend interviews. But, the wait instances for visa processing have solely been decreased by 100 days for Indian vacationers, down from 600 days in March.
Key Supply Market: Within the first six months of 2023, over 800,000 Indian vacationers went to the U.S., making it America’s second-largest non-North American market after the UK this 12 months.
Indian Journey Restoration to the U.S.: For 2023, the U.S. is predicted to welcome 1.4 million Indian vacationers, 97% of the pre-pandemic quantity. Almost 60% of Indian vacationers got here to the U.S. for trip, enterprise, or a convention within the first six months of this 12 months.
Sri Lanka’s Free Vacationer Visas Pilot Begins
Nearer to dwelling, Sri Lanka’s pilot challenge to supply free 30-day visas to Indian vacationers, introduced on the finish of October, kicked off on Wednesday, and can run till March 31, 2024.
It’s the newest nation after Thailand and Malaysia to affix in providing simpler entry for Indians.
Sri Lanka’s Tourism Restoration: India is historically Sri Lanka’s high inbound tourism market. In October 2023, arrival figures for India topped with over 28,000 or 26 p.c with Russian vacationers trailing at over 10,000 arrivals because the second largest group. The free vacationer visa pilot contains India, China, Russia, Malaysia, Japan, Indonesia, and Thailand.
Sri Lanka’s tourism trade endured a extreme blow because of the Covid-19 pandemic, adopted by an financial disaster final 12 months. The nation welcomed 1 million arrivals by September, the primary time since 2019, with the island nation anticipated to conclude the 12 months with 1.5 million arrivals.
UNWTO Selects Madhya Pradesh’s Madla for Village Improve Program
Madla village, situated on the outskirts of the Panna Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh, has been chosen by the United Nations World Tourism Group (UNWTO) for its vacationer village improve program.
Initially chosen as a UNWTO ‘Greatest Tourism Village’ for 2023, Madla has now certified to affix the improve program, assembly the factors of preserving native tradition and selling range.
IndiGo Units Visible Flight Guidelines Milestone at Deoghar Airport
IndiGo would be the first airline to function flights with visibility as little as 3,600 meters for Airbus and three,200 meters for ATR fleet at Deoghar Airport.
Poor Seasonal Visibility: Visible flight guidelines (VFR) at Deoghar Airport have been restricted to sunlight hours with a visibility requirement of 5,000 meters. The low-cost service utilized for civil aviation approval for particular VFR operations on the airport, as poor visibility above 5000 meters in the course of the winter led to many flight cancellations.
Much less Disruption: Deoghar Airport is a hub within the japanese sector of India, connecting the states of Bihar, Jharkhand, and West Bengal. IndiGo’s profitable flight validation for particular VFR operations will scale back disruptions, particularly these attributable to hostile climate situations in winter.
EaseMyTrip Launches ‘Discover Bharat’ Journey Program
On-line journey company EaseMyTrip.com’s new journey program, “Discover Bharat- Uncover the Soul of India,” desires to showcase India to worldwide vacationers.
This system will provide curated tour packages for heritage, tradition, historical past, and structure experiences, from the royal palaces of Rajasthan to Kerala’s serene backwaters.
In line with CEO and Co-founder Nishant Pitti, the OTA desires to take vacationers deeper into India’s tourism providing by offering tailored itineraries, together with luxurious facilities and premium lodging and transportation.
Kashmir’s Wular Lake Pegged for Homestay, Rural Tourism Growth
Wular Lake is ready to be developed right into a prime tourism vacation spot for vacationers to Jammu and Kashmir.
The lake, ranked because the second-largest freshwater lake in Asia, is a major drawcard for rural tourism, in keeping with Secretary of Tourism Dr Syed Abid Rasheed Shah. Growth will concentrate on homestays and cultural heritage tourism actions within the Bandipora district.
Wular Lake Highlights:
- Geographical Significance: Wular Lake, located on the foothills of Haramuk Mountain, spans a powerful space of 200 sq. km, with a size of 24 km and a breadth of 10km.
- Historic Contact: The lake’s fundamental water supply is the famend River Jhelum, including to its historic and cultural significance. Notably, Wular Lake boasts a small island referred to as ‘Zaina Lank,’ constructed by King Zainul-Abi-Din, contributing to the realm’s wealthy heritage.
- Legendary Connection: Believed to be a remnant of the traditional Satisar Lake, Wular Lake is steeped in myths and legends. The lake’s environment additionally function a well-liked sundown level for guests.
Skyscanner’s Astrology Survey Uncovers Vacationers’ Cosmic Selections
Skyscanner’s newest survey information highlights the intersection of star indicators and wanderlust, providing insights into how Indians plan their journeys primarily based on the celebrities.
Astrology and Journey Selections:
- 88% of Indians consider in astrology, influencing essential life selections, together with journey selections.
- Over 70% of Indian vacationers are guided by their style buds. Aquarians main the pack as meals lovers, with 93% prioritizing a vacation spot solely for its delicacies.
Cultural Calling and Vogue Tendencies:
- Greater than half of Indian vacationers base their vacation plans on cultural components, together with common movies and style tendencies.
- 55% of Capricorns want locations featured of their favourite movies or reveals
- 74% of fashion-forward Sagittarians convey runway seems to the flight runway throughout their journeys.
- 50% of Virgo vacationers want well-organized itineraries with deliberate actions and a few free time.
- 48% of Scorpios expertise elevated anxiousness whereas flying.
Further Survey Findings:
- Love Places: 53% of Indians journey in pursuit of affection, with suggestions for Capricorns, Libras, and Aries to attach, as greater than half are on the lookout for future companions throughout their expeditions.
- Seaside Adventures: Over 55% of Indians actively search journey whereas touring, with Leos, Capricorns, and Scorpios being the true aquaholics, preferring holidays by the bay.
- Purple Eye Chasers: Cancerians are early risers, with greater than half (57%) preferring flights between 12 AM and 6 AM, providing decreased costs.