Addressing a long-standing concern of the tourism industry, the MoT has decided to introduce a flexible e-tourist visa regime based on tourist footfall, with higher fee for July to March peak season and a considerably lower fee if the visit to the country falls during April to June lean period. 

Speaking today at the inauguration of a meeting with state government representatives on tourism on Tuesday, minister Prahlad Patel said the move was to encourage tourists to visit India.

“India to offer 30-day e-tourist visa with USD 10 fee during the lean period April to June and USD 25 fee during peak tourism period from July to March,” he said.

A new five-year e-tourist visa will be introduced with USD 80 fee and a one-year e-tourist visa with USD 40 fee, Patel said. “For Japan, Singapore, Sri Lanka, lean period visa fee is USD 10 and for e-visa of 30 days, 1 year and 5 years is USD 25,” he said.

Ministry of Home Affairs had hiked visa fee last year, causing concern for the MoT and larger industry stakeholders. The then tourism minister K J Alphons had requested erstwhile home minister Rajnath Singh to reconsider the decision.

The e-visa scheme was launched in 2015 to make India a more visitor-friendly destination and the scheme currently extends to over 160 countries.