Relaxed India visa rules prompt customer complaints surge

Relaxed India visa rules prompt customer complaints surge

A surge in customer complaints is being reported as a result of changes to Indian travel visa rules, according to online travel agent

Customers who booked cheap deals to Goa earlier this year face an additional visa cost of £340 per family of four in order to travel due to the fee rising from £152.

News that India intends to relax the visa situation to allow purchase upon entry is further exacerbating customer confusion, the OTA says.

Loveholidays complains that there is no information available from the Indian consulate about when the proposed relaxed visa process will be introduced.

The company warns that people will switch to Gambia or Egypt rather than paying heavy visa fees to take winter holidays in Goa.

Founder Al Francis said: “Goa holidays have always been one of our top sellers for winter sun, offering guaranteed sunshine and great value with holiday prices.

“However, many families who booked earlier this year haven’t factored in the additional visa cost and are feeling understandably disgruntled.

“The recent flurry of media reports that India is looking to relax visa regulations is creating even greater confusion and our customer service centre is being inundated with holidaymakers trying to establish whether the entry visa cost will be brought in line with other European countries that are currently offered the lower price of £42.20.

“We are urging the High Commission to pass on clearer advice and suspect that as Brits cotton on to these rising costs Goa will fall from grace as one of our top selling destinations.

“We suspect Gambia or Egypt will increase in popularity, both offering winter sun and similar value yet without the lengthy and pricey visa process.”

The cost of Indian visas increased last year from £38 per person to the current listed price of £92.50 per person including a processing fee of £10, representing an increase of £188 or 143% per family.

This news emerged as it was revealed that the Thai government is considering imposing an international visitor tax from as early as January.


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