India launches Free pre-paid mobile SIM Cards for International Visitors arriving on e-Visa
International travelers have for a long time encountered various issues while touring foreign countries. The process of acquiring a mobile number of a foreign nation has been a real struggle to the international visitors, prompting them to rely on telephone booths for their communication. Fortunately, India is determined to make things easier for the foreign tourists visiting the country on e-Visa by automatically giving them pre-paid SIM cards for free upon their arrival. Additionally, the international tourists will receive a welcome kit detailing various Indian maps, what the visitors ought to do and what they should refrain from. The kits will also contain information on the persons a traveler can contact for emergency help. These SIM cards are easily and conveniently rechargeable. The card will be completely operational as soon as a tourist leaves the airport.
Indian government intends to give out the free, prepaid SIM cards via Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL). BSNL is a telecommunication company that belongs to, funded and controlled by the Indian government. The main objective of the resolution to give out the free SIM cards is to position India as an international travel destination. Besides, the decision aims at addressing various security issues by ensuring all international travelers have SIM cards through which they can contact relevant persons in case of misfortune. During the first phase of the program, the SIM cards are expected to be issued to the tourists entering India through Indira Gandhi International Airport only. However, the service will afterward be extended countrywide to other fifteen airports with e-Visa facilities.
World Travel and Tourism Council’s report shows that tourism accounted for more than six percent of overall GDP of India in 2015. India is optimistic that free issuance of the SIM cards and welcome kits will enhance its status among world travelers. India will also receive more global visitors and lessen the challenges these travelers face or are likely to encounter while touring the country.
What is an e-visa?
An e-Visa is a legal document that is processed and issued electronically, authorizing entry into and tour within India. e-Visa can be used in place of the ordinary visa that is embossed into India’s passport. The e-Visa of India can be obtained by citizens of more than 150 countries worldwide. It is easier, faster and cheaper to acquire the e-Visa than the conventional stamped visa as its entire application process, including submission of the required information and relevant payments, is done electronically. There are three types of India’s e-Visas including e-Tourist Visa, e-Business Visa and e-Medical Visa. e-Tourist Visa is given to foreign travelers who go to India to visit friends, for leisure or tourism. e-Business Visa is meant for the people who travel to India for business purposes while e-Medical Visa is for those who go to the country to look for short-term medical attention.