Just before the news of the spread of the new variant of Covid-19 – Omicron, India saw visa applications more than double in November compared to January of this year. According to the main VFS visa, the opening of international borders with the relaxation of travel restrictions, increased vaccination coverage and pent-up demand for travel, has resulted in an increase in visa applications from India.
VFS Global said visa applications received in India through November 21, 2021 have more than doubled from volumes recorded in January 2021. “Visa applications have arrived for many destinations opening their borders to international travelers such as Canada, Europe, the United Kingdom, and the United States among others, ”said his spokesperson.
Travel portal EaseMyTrip (EMT) said there is a strong sense of travel even at this time. “We are finding that people who do not want to travel at the moment due to fear of Omicron are simply postponing their trip instead of completely canceling their plans. According to EMT, Dubai, Maldives and Abu Dhabi are the most preferred international destinations with the highest advance bookings, with Dubai being the most booked destination by Indians and the Middle East being mainly driven by travel from India. leisure and business.
“The steady increase in visa applications demonstrates a strong intention to travel. As the restart period overlapped with the peak season for students in India, students made up a large portion of international travelers from India, followed by business travelers and tourists visiting families, ”said Pranav Sinha, South Asia Manager of VFS Global.
According to VFS Global, a significant recovery in travelers’ feelings with a threefold increase in visa applications has been observed since June 2021. According to Prahlad Krishnamurti, Commercial Director of Cleartrip, international demand fell slightly in December compared to last month.
The pandemic remains volatile in light of the new variants, but according to industry experts, it’s too early to see an impact on travel behaviors. Kapil Kaul, CEO of CAPA India, said: “It is too early to comment, but the short term impact is visible.