Poland charters delayed due to visa norms

PTI, PANAJI | 08 November 2010 11:56 IST

Stringent visa norms have forced chartered flight operators from Poland to delay their operations to Goa by one-and-half months, which translates into losing 1500 visitors, tourism officials said.

Travel and Tourism Association of Goa (TTAG) spokesman Ralf D'Souza said that Poland was supposed to start their regular movement to Goa from this year onwards but their flights will now be delayed.

"We were expecting the first chartered fight to arrive by first week of November but due to time-consuming visa formalities they will not start operations before December 15," D'Souza said.

The delay will result in cancellation of seven flights from this country, which means we will lose out on 1500 tourists, he added.

"If things on Indian front does not improve, then these tourists might be diverted to other destinations," D'Souza said adding tour operators will always maintain their clients.

"If not Goa, then they will offer them other destinations," he feared.

According to the tourism industry in Goa if India relaxes its stringent visa norms taking it on par with last year, the foreign tourist inflow here can increase by 15 per cent.

"We don't mind if the Ministry of Home Affairs have curbs on citizens from hostile countries. But those guests arriving from traditional tourism markets should not be dealt with harsh visa norms," he said.

Earlier, India was giving long term visa extending for one year and multiple entry visa for three years.

As per the new directives, a tourist visa of more than three months is not issued by India.

And if a tourist wants to re-enter he has to go back, wait for one month (cooling period) and re-apply for the visa. .

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