|LONDON: India should be included in Britain's cheaper two-year visitor visa scheme to attract more Indians to the UK that will strengthen the already close bilateral ties, a new report released here on Tuesday said.
`A Passage from India -Improving UK Visitor Visas for Indian Nationals' has been prepared by the UK's Royal Commonwealth Society in partnership with leading aviation tourism and industry groups as well as the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and was released in the British parliament complex.
"We hope that the government will consider the very clear benefits of our recommendation, enhancing the already close affinity between two great Commonwealth nations," said Tim Hewish, director of policy and research at the Royal Commonwealth Society and author of the report. His report flags up the UK's falling market share of global Indian tourists, which has halved over the last decade at an estimated cost to the UK economy of around £500 million per year and over 8,000 jobs. France has now over-taken the UK as India's most visited European nation, attracting 500,000 visitors from the subcontinent last year.
In October 2015, British PM David Cameron had announced a pilot scheme for a two-year UK-China visitor visa costing £87. The report recommends that Indians must have the same opportunity.
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