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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs   8 December 2012 

India’s new visa rules will see more Malaysian visitors


Indian tourist visa applications are expected to increase by 20 per cent next year following the lifting of a rule imposing a two-month gap between visits on Malaysian tourists.

Malaysian Indian Tour and Travel president K. Thangavelu said the number of tourist visas issued had risen by about 10 per cent each year since 2009, despite the restriction.

“So far this year, about 160,000 Indian tourist visas have been issued, which accounted for 90 per cent of the total Indian visas issued.

“With the regulations lifted, we expect an increase of between 15 per cent and 20 per cent of tourist visa applications.”

The restriction, which was relaxed three days ago, had been enforced in November 2009 following the Mumbai terrorist attacks.

India’s Deputy High Commissioner to Malaysia Aseem R. Mahajan had said other tourist visa application procedures would remain.

He added that travel to India for business purposes, which had faced no restriction on a gap between two visits, would also remain.

“Even with the restriction, many still chose to travel as cheap flight tickets and accommodation made international tourism more accessible,” he said.

Malaysian Indian Association secretary-general S. Murugesan called the move timely, saying it would greatly benefit locals who had relatives in India.

“During the restriction, some who had gone to India on holiday could not go back for urgent family matters which came up within 60 days,” he added.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More






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