India announces free tourist Visa to 5 lakh tourists to revive pandemic hit tourism sector

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New Delhi: With a view to revive the pandemic-hit tourism sector, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday announced several economic relief schemes.

To attract foreign tourists to India, the finance minister has announced free tourist visa to 5 lakh foreign tourists once international travel resumes. Scheme applicable till March 31, 2022, or will be closed after distribution of first 5 lakh visas. One tourist can avail the benefit only once.

Meanwhile, a new loan guarantee scheme has been announced which  will support 10,700 regional level tourist guides and Travel and Tourism stakeholders (TTS) recognized by the Ministry of Tourism and the State governments, the Finance Minister said. Under the scheme working capitals/ personal loans will be provided with 100 per cent guarantee to tourist guides and other stakeholders of the tourism sector to discharge liabilities and restart businesses impacted due to the pandemic. For TTS the loan limit will be Rs. 10 lakh and for tourist guides the limit will be Rs.1 lakh.

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