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Foreign trips still continue, but with hurdles

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New Delhi: Today, when we talk about the largest and fastest growing economic sectors, travel and tourism sector has made its name at the top of the list.

Such immense growth in India under this sector has been due to flexible policies and regulatory support by the government authorities, which further includes rising income levels and changing lifestyle of the common people.

No matter there has been drastic fluctuations in the rupee value, or the GDP increasing by more than seven percent every year, yet Indian tourism did not seem to get affected. Moreover, even the static economy could not tremble the number of tourist’s departure from India.

Thus, India has emerged as the world’s fastest-growing outbound market and in absolute numbers, it is second only to China.

Whatever be the reason, leisure, business, a shopping trip, any global sports event or even meeting any relative living abroad, and Indians have been increasingly traveling.

Indians offer such immense potential for future growth in outbound level.
According to the predictions of UNWTO, India will account for 50 million outbound tourists by 2020

Traditionally Thailand, Singapore, United States, and Malaysia are among the most preferred tourist’s destinations among Indian travelers, but there are other countries like Sri Lanka, Nepal, and China which are also preferred nowadays.

The increasing in the tourism is mainly due to decrease cost of international airfare and availability of affordable travel packages.

However, there are many challenges in outbound travel. In India, companies tend to specialize in either inbound or outbound, few do both successfully. The average Indian travel agent deals with customers who are extremely price sensitive and are inherent shoppers. Bargaining is a cultural trait.

Whereas there is also a feeling that the local agents have no right to make money. In general, agencies in India are not equipped or trained in charging fees.

Also, another hurdle for Indian outbound tourism market is the rupee depreciation that has become a very big hurdle for Indian outbound tourism. Destinations such as United States, Canada, London, France, Italy and Switzerland have seen a dip in bookings due to rupee depreciation.(input from agencies)(image: blog.raysoutdoors.com.au)

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India Continues Engaging With USA Over H-1B Passport Issue

India is closely engaged with the US administration as well as the US Congress on this matter.

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India
As Trump proposes changes in H1-B visa, India continues to engage with US

India is continuing to engage with the US over the H-1B visa, largely availed of by Indian IT companies, after the Trump administration proposed changes to the programme, a senior official said on Thursday.

“It is a very important topic for us and that is the reason why we have time and again at various levels, we have taken up this matter with the US side,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said in response to queries by journalists here.

Kumar said that most recently, the issue was raised during the first ever India-US 2+2 Ministerial Meeting held here last month that was attended by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defence Secretary Jim Mattis.

On Wednesday, the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said that the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) plans to come out with its new proposal by January 2019.

India n Passport
It will also “revise the definition” of employment and employer-employee relationship to “better protect” US workers and wages Flickr

The DHS said it was also proposing to remove from its regulations certain H-4 spouses of H-1B non-immigrants as a class of aliens eligible for employment authorisation.

The move to end the rule could have an impact on more than 70,000 H-4 visa holders, who have work permits.

The H-4 visas are issued by the USCIS to immediate family members (spouse and children under 21 years of age) of the holders of H-1B visa.

The DHS said it will propose to revise the definition of speciality occupation to increase focus on obtaining the best and the brightest foreign nationals via the H-1B programme.

It will also “revise the definition” of employment and employer-employee relationship to “better protect” US workers and wages, the DHS said.

Donald Trump, India
President Donald Trump speaks about immigration alongside family members affected by crimes committed by undocumented immigrants, at the South Court Auditorium on the White House complex, June 22, 2018, in Washington, VOA

In his remarks on Thursday, Kumar said that India is closely engaged with the US administration as well as the US Congress on this matter.

Stating that there are certain bills which have been introduced, he, however, said that “it is important to note that none of these bills have been passed so far”.

“When we have engaged with the US, we have emphasised that our partnership which we have in the digital sphere have been mutually beneficial,” the spokesperson said.

Also Read: USA And Other Countries Pledge To Eradicate Illegal Wildlife Trade

“We have highlighted the role which has been played by the highly skilled Indian professionals who have actually contributed to the growth and development of the US economy,” he stated.

“And also they have helped the US to maintain a competitive edge in the world towards innovation and science and technology.” (IANS)