Wednesday, 26 July, 2017

India to Attract Foreign Tourists by Giving Free SIM Cards at Airports

Tourism minister Dr Mahesh Sharma at the launch of the new initiative Tourism minister Dr Mahesh Sharma at the launch of the new initiative
Theresa Hayes | 17 February, 2017, 01:43

Tourists arriving in India on e-visa could get the free SIM cards as a part of welcome kit from the Tourism Development Corporation counters at the airports.

They will then be handed a mobile SIM that already has Rs 50 (60p) of credit on it, as well as 50MB of data usage for the internet.

In his address, the Minister said that this unique initiative will facilitate the foreign tourists in communicating with their acquaintances immediately after their arrival in India.

This special scheme was launched by Tourism minister Mahesh Sharma, and he got this "idea" when he recently visited Sri Lanka, where foreign tourists are provided the same.

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. This facility will be initially available in the Indira Gandhi International Airport (T3 Terminal), New Delhi and later cover remaining 15 international airports, where e-Visa facility is now available including Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi airports in Kerala.

In another major push to encourage e-visa and to promote tourism in India, Govt. of India has announced a major scheme which will immensely help foreign tourists. Currently, 161 countries can avail the e-visa facility for travelling to India.

The Indian government is taking essential steps to ensure the safety and well-being of foreign tourists arriving in India.

He said the expenses on SIM cards will be borne out of the tourism promotion budget of the Ministry which he said is "well within the budget". BSNL will be collecting a copy of the e-visa and the first page of the passport before providing the pre-loaded SIM.

Before launching the SIM card facility, the Ministry of Tourism had also launched a 24×7 Tourist Helpline number (1800 111 363) in 12 foreign languages to cater to the required information the foreign tourists need in their respective languages during times of distress, medical emergency, etc.