It looks like an Indian government is leaving no stone unturned to keep the foreign tourists happy and to make sure that everyone gets back to their country with positive feelings the government of India keeps implementing various tourism related schemes. The Visa on arrival has already become the successful venture and the scheme had attracted loads tourists from various countries. Now going one more step ahead, the Indian government has decided to give pre-activated SIM cards to every tourist that arrives in the country.
According to the sources, an Indian government will now provide the instant SIM cards to the foreign tourists on their arrival at the airport, that means foreigners will be able to make use to data and voice facility immediately after landing in India and that too for free. This news will surely bring a positive impact on the slowing tourism industry of India.
Based on the news published in the national daily, In a bid to promote hassle-free travel for foreigners arriving in India, the government will now issue pre-activated, free SIM cards loaded with the data and talk-time. But there is a small catch in this scheme. According to the sources, the SIM cards will be provided to only those tourist who is visiting the country on e-visa.
Hailed as a progressive move by the Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO), the SIM cards will initially be provided to foreign tourists arriving at the Indira Gandhi International Airport. The service will later be extended to 15 other airports in the country which also includes Goa, that have provisions for e-visas. Currently, 161 countries can avail the e-visa facility for traveling to India.
It may be recalled that last year in the month of June an Indian government had announced VISA on arrival scheme for more than 160 countries and Goa being one of the major tourism destination received a tremendous response to the scheme. Now the new scheme of free pre-activated SIM cards will help the Goa Tourism to have edge over the others.
The sources have revealed that the initiative of free pre-activated SIM card was launched in association with BSNL, who will be providing SIM cards with a talk-time of Rs 50 and 50 MB data for the internet on phone. BSNL will be collecting a copy of the e-visa and the first page of the passport before providing the pre-loaded SIM.
“The initiative will help tourists immediately communicate with their relatives back home, hotels, tour operators and so on. I got this idea when I received a similar card on visiting Sri Lanka,” said the tourism minister Dr. Mahesh Sharma. The SIM card will be valid for a month and will also help travelers contact the 24-hour tourist helpline number available in 12 languages, including Russian, German and Japanese. The reason behind restricting the facility of free SIM card only to the e-visa tourists lies in the fact that the information about these travelers will be available much in advance. This, in turn, would ease the process of syncing the tourist’s data for issuing SIM cards, said the sources.