India’s Liberalised (Yet Restrictive) Visa Policy

India introduced its e-tourist visa (eTV) policy in November 2014. Despite initially impressive results in terms of increased arrivals, there is no indication that such modest success will create a significant impact on tourism, or prove to be sustainable in the long run. This paper finds that the policy’s very design-and the various weaknesses in its modalities-make it less attractive to travelers, compared to the ‘traditional’ tourist visa. How can India overcome the shortcomings of its eTV policy? A successful, modernised visa policy, after all, can help India achieve its larger economic objectives. This paper draws lessons from other countries’ experiences and argues that it would do well for India to learn them.

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