Health tourism boosts number of visitors to India

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Dubai, Jul 22 (UNI) The inflow of visitors from UAE to India has substantially gone up this summer with the number of nationals heading to the subcontinent doubling this year, thanks to health tourism.

About 12,000 tourist visas were issued this June. The figure stood at 6,000 for the same month last year. However, India gets less than one per cent of world tourist arrivals every year.

Indian consulate officials attributed the spurt in arrivals mainly to health tourism as most of the visitors were coming for medical check up and treatment. The majority of them head to South Indian states followed by Mumbai, they said.

In view of the heavy rush of tourist visa seekers, the Indian consulate in Dubai has advised those wanting to visit India to approach the consulate well in advance of their journey date.

Visa processing takes at least seven days from the date of submission of visa application forms except for certain special category nationals where it may take longer. New visa rates have also come into effect from July 1 with the exception of the tourist visa which is maintained at 150 dhirum.

Nationalities other than from Pakistan and Bangladesh, holding a valid UAE residence visa are issued with a six month multiple entry tourist visa. The sudden rush has forced the visa section to work on Fridays and Saturdays.

UNI XC SLD ND1134

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