IATO urges govt to reduce entrance fees at monuments for foreign tourists1 min read . Updated: 10 Jul 2020, 06:38 PM IST
- IATO had urged ministry of culture and ASI to have same fees for all foreign visitors until 31 March, 2022
- International flights remain banned in India as the country fights the coronavirus pandemic
NEW DELHI: Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO), representing more than 1, 700 inbound tour operators, on Friday welcomed the government's decision to open monuments to visitors after a pandemic-led three-month break. The association, however, were disappointed that the Centre did not heed its request of reducing entrance fees for foreign tourists to align them with rates charged to visitors from SAARC countries such as Sri Lanka, Bhutan, and Nepal.
It had said entrance fees for all Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) monuments were significantly high for foreign tourists, other than those from the SAARC countries, and may deter visitors when international travel resumes.
IATO had urged ministry of culture and ASI to have same fees for all foreign visitors until 31 March, 2022.
Pronab Sarka, president IATO, said countries such as Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Thailand, and Singapore were proactive and have been offering attractive packages to tourists.
"For Indian tourism industry to compete with our neighbouring and other Southeast Asian countries, we need to offer extremely competitive tourism packages for which we need full support from the government. We had also requested the ministry of tourism to support the industry by waiving off the visa fee for tourists visa/e-visa," he said.
International flights remain banned in India as the country fights the coronavirus pandemic, with the number of reported cases in the country crossing 7,00,000.