ATTORNEY-General and Tourism Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum has called on India to reciprocate Fiji's visa arrangements for Indian nationals and allow Fijians to have visas issued on arrival in India.
The minister made the comment while launching the "Enhancing India Bound Tourism Seminar" at the LICI building in Suva yesterday.
India Tourism Officer director of the Sydney office Madhu Dubey, who also conducted the seminar, said India had agreements with 11 countries whose nationals would be issued visas on arrival in India. She said a submission had been made for another eight countries to be on the list. However, she will discuss the possibility of Fiji being accorded the same treatment with her superiors.
Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said Fiji, through Air Pacific's direct route to Hong Kong and code share arrangements with Cathay Pacific already had an air link to India.
However, he said, it would be ideal if passengers could have their baggage checked in, for example from Nadi to Delhi or Mumbai and vice versa.
Ms Dubey said while the Indian tourism market was growing at an annual rate of 8.9 per cent and attracting some 6.29 million visitors annually, it was still a long way to go. India attracts about 0.64 per cent of global visitor arrivals, and would like to increase this to 1 per cent in the next five years.
She added that Fiji was a potential market for India considering that it had over one third of the population being of Indian descent.
Ms Dubey said India's medical tourism was thriving with its world class facilities and specially trained professionals.