India and China visa rules relaxed

7th Dec 2012

India and China have announced a loosening of visa restrictions for overseas visitors, in a move that might please holidaymakers planning specialist tours around Asia in 2013.

A re-entry rule previously introduced by India will no longer apply to many tourists, including those from Britain, the Indian government confirmed.

Under the rule anyone who wanted to return to India within 60 days of leaving the country would need special permission from the Indian High Commission.

Tourists on tailor made holidays which, for instance, warranted a trip back and forth across the border to Nepal or Bangladesh, often discovered they had to make alternative plans.

The move has therefore been welcomed by travel companies that had previously voiced their criticism to the policy.

It was also warmly welcomed by India's tourism ministry, which has predicted an increase in the six million or so tourists who visit the country each year.

Meanwhile, any European Union citizens wanting to make private journeys that include a stop-off in Beijing may be boosted by the news they will be free to visit the city for up to 72 hours without any visa at all, as of next year.

Beijing's tourism chiefs announced the new policy on Thursday in a move that could also ease the bureaucratic burden for travellers taking tailor made holidays in Asia in 2013.

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