To promote tourism in India and to encourage e-visa, Ministry of Tourism partners with BSNL to offer free SIM cards to foreign tourists with e-visa. Tourism Minister Mahesh Sharma launched this scheme on Wednesday to help foreign tourists in communication in India.
By arriving in India, foreign tourists will get free BSNL SIM cards from the government, which would be loaded with Rs 50 talk time and 50 MB data.
The Tourism Minister recently visited Sri Lanka there foreign tourists are providing the same. Hence he decided to launch this scheme in India.
Mahesh Sharma said, “This unique initiative will facilitate the foreign tourists in communicating with their acquaintances immediately after their arrival in India. A tourist helpline in twelve foreign languages is already there so that the foreign tourists can get the required information in their own language.”
Minister also said that the demonetization had no adverse impact on the tourists in the country as it has increased during the last few months. Mahesh Sharma presented the first kit containing SIM to a representative of Travel and Tourism sector.
Free SIM cards for tourists are available at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport; tourists can get that while arriving at the airport. Soon it would extend to 15 other international airports.
The SIM card will have a Validity of 30 days and helps the tourists to connect with tourist helpline number round the clock and is available in 12 international languages. The helpline number: 1800111363 was launched along with SIM card. The tourists have to wait for 5-6 hours to activate the new SIM card and after relevant documents.
Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) has called out this initiation, as this scheme will benefit more than a million tourists from 161 countries who visits India using e-visa.
Rajeev Kohli, India Association of Tour Operators senior vice-president, said, “I think we are the first country to give free SIM cards to the tourists. Its a great gesture and will make the arrival experience better for the travellers.”