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Stakeholders welcome easing of visa restrictions on Indian nationals

By Ahmed Bani Mustafa - Feb 14,2018 - Last updated at Feb 14,2018

The Baptism Site (Photo courtesy of the Jordan tourism board)

AMMAN — Stakeholders on Tuesday praised the government’s decision to ease visa restrictions on Indian nationals, who can now obtain visa upon arrival at crossings and airports.

The Jordan Investment Commission announced on Monday that it had confirmed the new measure with the Interior Ministry, noting in a statement carried by the Jordan News Agency, Petra, that Indians can now receive visas directly through Jordanian diplomatic missions or choose to obtain a visa upon arrival to the Kingdom.

The Jordan Society of Tourism and Travel Agents (JSTA) President Mohammad Samih commended the measure, which would increase the numbers of visitors from the subcontinent.

“JSTA welcome any move that contributes to attracting tourists and increasing their numbers,” Samih told The Jordan Times on Tuesday.

Fadi Abu Arish, a travel agent, said that the measure will increase the numbers of tourists from India, as it will encourage individuals and Indian travel agencies to organise trips to the Kingdom.

“Given that the Gulf countries have large numbers of Indians, easing the visa will also encourage them to visit Jordan over weekends or holidays,” said Abu Arish.

Also “last minute holidays” will have no obstacles to book trips to the Kingdom, he added

“The Indian nationality was not fully restricted and we have been receiving Indians for years, but we had to do some pre-arrival procedures such as obtaining a written permission from the Interior Ministry,” according to the travel agent. 

“Upon arrival, the guide or the meet-and-assist employee had to show the permission to authorities at the crossing or the airport. Now no need for the permission,” he added.

Abu Arish said that Jordan provides “much better” prices and services to Indians than the neighbouring countries. With easing the visa, the number will increase.

According to travel agents, the majority of Indian tourists are pilgrims, who visit religious sites such as the Baptism Site and Mount Nebo.

“We can organise trips that include Jordan with an extension of one or two days to Jerusalem and other holy sites in the West Bank,” said the Abu Arish. 

 

For his part, Travel Agent Firass Dakkak hailed the step, calling on authorities to include more nationalities, especially from far-eastern countries. 

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