The Tamil Nadu Tour Operators Association has said vaccination is the key to increase the flow of travellers from the state to foreign destinations. This is because most of the countries insist on a vaccination certificate to allow tourists into their territories.
Shuhaib Mohammed, an office-bearer of the Association, told IANS, “Enquires are pouring into nearly all agencies regarding leisure travel but vaccination is an important factor without which travel is impossible. Most of the countries are now insisting on the vaccination certificate to allow entry.”
Enquiries, according to the tour agents, are mostly for Switzerland which is a popular honeymoon destination as well as Russia. Both these countries have commenced issuing visas to travellers who have taken both vaccine jabs.
Muralikrishnan, an engineer with Ashok Leyland, speaking to IANS said, “My daughter who recently got married wanted to travel to Switzerland as we had to conduct a low- profile marriage for her. Now Switzerland has opened issuing visas and I have contacted a popular travel agent in Chennai for the travel of my daughter and her husband.”
Maldives has also allowed travel for Indian citizens but with a negative RT-PCR test report. However, travel operators said Maldives at the moment is an expensive destination as most of the resorts that are allowing travellers are high-end with five-star facilities and are charging accordingly.
Another major issue being faced by travellers and tour operators is the travel ban in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as most international travellers have a stopover in Dubai. With the UAE issuing strict guidelines and allowing only UAE citizens and those with gold visas into their territory, the travellers will feel the heat as most of the international flights have connecting flights from Dubai.
Rajesh Vasudevan of Precision Travels of India, told IANS, “Even though there are direct flights to Paris from Chennai, France is not allowing Indian travellers to transit even after the second vaccination. This is the issue faced by passengers travelling to Switzerland as there are no direct flights from Chennai and they have to take transit from Paris.”