Indian travel service providers laud Indian government’s tit for tat move for UK nationals

Indian travel service providers laud Indian government’s tit for tat move for UK nationals


Travel service providers and platforms are lauding the move of the Indian government to impose reciprocal measures on UK nationals travelling to India. They said while the current restrictions would impact some commercial travel and those with the UK citizenship or overseas citizen of India (OCI) status, the UK move was ‘racist’ and ‘discrimatory’.

“Right now there is no tourism coming in, so it will impact some commercial travel. Quite frankly, one is fed up with the attitude of the West,” said Rajeev Kohli, joint MD of Creative Travel that specialises in inbound travel.

“What the UK did was racist and discrimatory. So many Indians or those with resident citizenships would be struggling to get back to the UK because of the new rules. They have imposed these restrictions without any scientific basis. Indians are among the top spenders to the UK and India is not a minor country be it incoming travel or outgoing. The Indian government has done the right thing,” he added.

Subhash Goyal, chairman of STIC Travel and Air Charter Group said there will definitely be an impact but he supports the Indian Government’s stand. “It should be tit for tat,” he said.

India’s new measures which are expected to come into force from October 4 as per reports, will enforce a 10 day quarantine on all British nationals regardless of their vaccination status.

The UK nationals will have to undertake pre departure Covid-19 RT PCR tests within 72 hours before travel followed by a similar test upon arrival in India to be followed by another RT PCR test on the 8th day of their arrival in India.

After the Indian government’s move, the British High Commission responded by saying it was working with the central government to make the travelling process for Indians “as easy as possible”.

Others are hoping for a resolution too.

Rajeev Kale, president and country head, Holidays, MICE, Visa at Thomas Cook (India) said he looked forward to an effective resolution and more clarity on vaccine acceptance and health protocols, as UK forms a significant opportunity, not just as an end destination, but also as a hub and spoke stopover destination en-route to multiple countries in the European region and the Americas.

Daniel D’souza president and country Head at SOTC Travel said the UK is a vibrant and intrinsic element of the company’s tour products, be it for the HNI-UHNI luxury itineraries, individual customised tours or the group escorted programmes. “We eagerly await a positive outcome to the current situation to enable us to leverage the opportunity and potential of the upcoming festive season and Christmas-New Year vacations as we head towards the revival of the sector,” he added.

A person familiar with developments at one of the OTAs said since there is not a lot of business travel happening to India currently, the move will largely have a bearing on OCIs traveling to India from the UK who are actually a part of Indian diaspora.

“Basically people of Indian origin who are UK citizens, those with OCI status etc will be the ones who will suffer from this move. Business travel of UK citizens is anyway minimal,” the person said.



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