India moves to ease visa restrictions to attract tourists
India is looking at issuing visas on arrival for visitors from 40 more countries, a minister has said, raising hopes it will boost its tourism industry.
Dancers at the Hornbill Festival
A meeting of senior officials from the home, foreign and tourism ministries, as well as intelligence officers, concluded on Monday evening with a consensus in favor of the sweeping visa reform.
“There was a consensus about initiating the process to make India a tourist-friendly country and extending the on-arrival visa facility to around 40 more countries,” Planning Minister Rajeev Shukla told the Press Trust of India news agency.
The new countries would include the United States and Britain — the source of about 25 % of all tourists last year — as well as Canada, Brazil, Australia and most western European nations including France and Germany.
To read more about the policy change, click here.
‘Land of Festivals’ making a positive impact
Here is a video from the Hornbill Festival that takes place every February in Nagaland, called by the Indian government the “Land of Festivals”:
The slogan of Nagaland as the “Land of festivals” is making positive impact and the state is finally getting recognition as a tourism destination. The youth and private entrepreneurs are coming up with credible ideas and initiatives which complement the programs of the government. The government has kept an amount of over $3 million for developing rural tourism this year, so that tourists and visitors can visit all corners of Nagaland in the years to come.
To read more about the Hornbill Festival and other events in the region, click here.
The Lake of No Return: India’s Own Bermuda Triangle
Nestled in the lap of the Himalayas on the Indo-Myanmar border, the “Lake of No Return” had intrigued the Allied forces during World War II when many of its aircraft and crew disappeared into the lake’s icy depths during emergency “soft landings”.
With an annual festival, the Lake of No Return and many other little-known places will play host to tourists during the Pangsau Pass Winter Festival begins at Nampong, the border township in Changlang district of Arunachal Pradesh.
The intention of the Pangsu Pass Winter Festival – 2013 is to transcend geographical frontiers by revealing the enigma of amazing Arunachal, including that of mesmerizing Myanmar. It has become a wonderful medium to commemorate the glorious bygone eras of the many lively tribes of the serene state. Pangsu Pass Winter Festival has been successfully scripting the triumphs of tribal heritage and ethnicity of the region.
“And we will serve the exhausted souls with U (rice beer) and delicious local cuisine, including traditional pork bamboo shoot and steamed rice at the food fiesta,” said Arif Siddique, a member of the organizing committee
You can read more about the Lake of No Return by clicking here.
Editor’s Note: Original World Tours offers 19-day cultural immersion tours to the state of Arunachal Pradesh, India including Ancient Tribes of the Hidden Northeast: Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland in February for the Sekrenyi Festival and in December for the Hornbill Festival Tour.