Tag Archives: US

45% growth in medical tourism to India

According to data provided by Ministry of Home Affairs, the number of medical visas issued by India in 2016 rose by 45 per cent over 2015. India issued more than 1.78 lakh medical visas in 2016, including for follow up treatment, as against 1.22 lakh in 2015, according to the data. A Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) report titled “India Services Sector—A Multi-trillion Dollar Opportunity for Global Symbiotic Growth 2017” stated that the presence of world-class hospitals and skilled medical professionals has strengthened India’s position as a preferred destination for medical tourism. Treatment for major surgeries in India costs only a fraction—in some cases as low as 10 per cent of that in developed countries. “Majority of the patients coming to India for treatment are from the Middle East, Africa, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Maldives, Pakistan, Bhutan and Sri Lanka. India’s cost advantage will significantly open doors to the US and Europe over future, due to lower cost than the US and almost half that of Europe.” Dental tourism accounts for 10 per cent of the medical tourism and the government is keen to promote it. “India provides competitive cost advantage at one tenth of the cost of the US and Europe. By 2020, medical tourism industry of India is expected to touch $8 billion,” the report said. Source: Livemint

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Indian visa to cost 50% more

The Indian government has reportedly increased the visa fee in different categories for nationals from the US, the UK, Canada, Israel, Iran and UAE. As per a government notification, a tourist visa up to one year will now cost $153 from the earlier $100. The tourist visa for over a year and up to five years will cost $306 instead of $120. Mainly affecting foreigners who work in the country, the move comes about as a reciprocal measure, since countries like the US, New Zealand and Australia have planned or already implemented such processes. However, UK nationals, who used to cough up $162 for a tourist visa up to a year, will now pay $248. And for a five year tourist visa, they will pay $741 instead of $484. For the employment visa, nationals from Canada, Ireland, France, Australia, New Zealand and Thailand will now pay $459 instead of $300 for a visa spanning over a year and up to five years. Israelis continue to cough up the most for a short-term visa. They will now pay $1,714 instead of $1,120.

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Emirates introduces laptop and tablet handling service for US flights

Emirates has introduced a new service to enable customers to use their laptops and tablet devices until just before they board their flights to the US. Emirates customers travelling to the US via Dubai will be able to utilise their laptops and tablet devices on the first part of their journeys, and also during transit in Dubai. They must then declare and hand over their laptops, tablets, and other banned electronic devices to security staff at the gate just before boarding their US-bound flight. The devices will be carefully packed into boxes, loaded into the aircraft hold, and returned to the customer at their US destination. There will not be any charge for this service. Passengers on US-bound flights starting their journeys in Dubai are encouraged to pack their electronic devices into their check-in luggage in the first instance, to avoid delays. Customers should be aware that there will be a detailed search of all hand baggage on non-stop flights to the US from Dubai. They should therefore declare their devices before the search, or ensure their electronic devices are packed into their check-in luggage in the first instance. Sir Tim Clark, President Emirates Airline said: “Our aim is to ensure compliance with the new rules, while minimising disruption to passenger flow and impact on customer experience. Our new complimentary service enables passengers, particularly those flying for business, to have the flexibility to use their devices until the last possible moment. Once on board they can still stay connected on their mobile phones. Our historical data shows that on Emirates’ US flights, 90% of passengers using our onboard mobile and Wi-Fi connectivity services do so via their smart phones. Only …

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Hassle-free entry of Indians into US

India and the US have signed an MoU to facilitate hassle-free entry of Indians into the US at selected airports by providing speedy security clearances for pre-approved, low-risk travellers from the country. India is only the ninth country with which the US has entered into this International Expedited Traveller Initiative (also known as the Global Entry Programme), reflective of the growing relationship between the two largest democracies of the world. The move would take a few months to implement and will provide speedy security clearances for pre-approved, low-risk Indian travellers upon arrival in US at selected airports. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between Indian Ambassador to the US Arun K Singh and Kevin K McAleenan, Deputy Commissioner of US Customs and Border Protection. “After joint scrutiny and clearance by both countries, the approved Indian travellers will be extended the facility of expedited entry into the United States through automatic kiosks at select airports,” a statement said, adding, the procedures are expected to be completed in the coming months. “Expedited entry for the Indian travellers under this programme at the US airports will enable further easing of travel environment, and will have positive impact on all kinds of people-to-people exchange between our two countries,” Arun K Singh said at the MoU signing ceremony. He said strengthening people-to-people ties between the two countries has been at the very core of Prime Minister’s vision of India’s bilateral relationship with the US. “In the last two years, several initiatives have been taken by the Government of India for easing travel from the United States to India, which includes issuance of long term visas and introduction of electronic-tourist visas for US citizens.” “India’s …

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10% commission on Namaste Turkey’s 15 itineraries

Namaste Turkey has launched a brochure for 2016-17 comprising of 48 pages and includes over 15 unique itineraries for Turkey and combination of Turkey & Greece. These programmes are commissionable to the travel agents and tour operators at 10 per cent. Subhash Motwani, Director, Namaste Turkey, who was recently in Cappadocia to forge an alliance with key partners, is optimistic that Turkey will be doing exceptionally well in 2016, given that Turkish Airlines has excellent connectivity to Europe, US and Africa and with a valid Schengen, UK or US or OECD country visa, you can get a Turkey visa online instantly. Namaste Turkey has also introduced for the first time eight-day full board cruises from Bodrum and Marmaris with guaranteed departures from May until October 2016. This too is commissionable to travel agents and tour operators.

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