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Airport visas ahead as Indian state warms to Russian travelers

July 09, 2014, 15:11 UTC+3 Shimla (India)
Airport visas for Russians are likely to be available by the end of the year, a government source told ITAR-TASS
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© ITAR-TASS/Marina Lystseva

SHIMLA (India), July 09. /ITAR-TASS/. Airport visas on arrival are in prospect by the year-end from a north Indian state seeking to attract Russian travelers.

“We are committed to the idea of granting visas to Russians on arrival at the airport,” chief minister of Himachal Pradesh state Virbhadra Singh told ITAR-TASS. "It seems very appropriate in the light of friendly Russian-Indian relations,” he added.

The move follows an announcement by Minister of Planning Rajeev Shukla earlier this year that the list of countries qualifying for visas on entry would be expanded. Russia is among 180 countries expected to be granted access. Iran, China, Pakistan, Sri Lanka are said to be among those excluded.

Airport visas for Russians are likely to be available by the end of the year, a government source told ITAR-TASS, adding that “it is possible that tourists will have to fill in an online form five days before the trip.”

Himachal Pradesh is one of India's most popular tourist destinations. Fifteen million tourists visited the state last year, almost 415,000 of them foreigners.

Among the area's attractions is the Naggar settlement former estate of Russian painter, writer and philosopher Nicholas Roerich and his wife, Helena, and British colonial era author Rudyard Kipling’s house in the city of Shimla.

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