India’s Travel mobility score rises from 32 (2008) to 50 (2014)

In the fight for global travelers tourists from India are getting noticed, with more countries making special efforts to ease Visa formalities for its citizens. The Visa operations Report 2014 by the United Nations World Tourism Organization says India has improved on its mobility score…the extent to which tourists can travel around the world without visa hassles.

When comparing data between 2014 and 2008 for the promising outbound markets of Brazil, Russian Federation, China, India and South Africa (BRICS), it becomes clear that the destinations are making special efforts to facilitate visa formalities for tourists originating from these prospering economies.  India’s mobility score rose to 50 in 2014, marginally higher than that of China at 48 where outbound travel is growing by leaps and bounds. However Indians still has a long way to go become most mobile travelers. That privilege is for citizens of Finland, the US, Sweden and Germany, which are least impacted by VISA restrictions and have mobility score of 159.

France recently decided to provide visas in less than 48 hours to Indians. Britain and Ireland have launched a single visa scheme for Indian tourists. Last year Canada allowed Indians who have traveled to Canada or the US in the past 10 years and with no adverse security or criminal history to get visa without submitting proof of economic solvency. The Philippines tourism ministry has proposed to lift entry visa requirements for Indians.  The US has also eased procedures to attract one Million Indian tourists by 2015. The country offers a 10-year multiple entry B1/ B2 visa that can be used for business and personal trips of short duration. Indians holding valid Visa also have the advantage of getting visa waivers or applying for e visas to visit some countries, including Mexico and Turkey.

Visa on arrival to Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritius, Maldives, Laos, Cambodia, Jordan, Kenya, Philippines and Thailand has seen significant surge, inspiring transactions in India for both tourism – short stays, weekend gateways as well as ad-hoc group of celebrations.

Currently Indians get visa – free access or visas on arrival in 52 countries.

Mobility Score: Mobility indicates to what extent the citizens of a country are affected by visa policies of destination nations – the higher the score, the better. It is calculated by assigning weights to the visa policies required of each country’s citizens, with ‘no visa’ weighted by 1, ‘visa on arrival’ by 0.7, ‘e-visa’ by 0.5 and ‘visa required’ weighted by 0.

Source: The Economic Times


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