Countries have started liberalizing their visa regime to give a boost to their tourism. The world is becoming more accessible for the travelers than it has been in past few years as many countries have simplified their Visa processes.
In this article, I will like to discuss the Visa system and its effect on the Tourism around the globe.
History of Visa
According to Pran Nath Seth and Sushma Seth Bhat in their book, the visa system started after World War II. Before that people could visit foreign lands without a passport or a visa and could even settle there if they wish.
But Wikipedia has a different story to tell
In Western Europe in the late 19th century and early 20th century, passports and visas were not generally necessary for moving from one country to another. The relatively high speed and large movements of people traveling by train would have caused bottlenecks if regular passport controls had been used. Passports and visas became usually necessary as travel documents only after World War I.
Long before that, in ancient times, passports and visas were usually the same type of travel documents. In the modern world, visas have become separate secondary travel documents, with passports acting as the primary travel documents.
Reasons for Visa Restrictions
Visa regimes certainly are not very helpful for the business of the countries. Most of the countries want the free flow of travelers across the international borders.
But the unavoidable reason of security force the countries to impose visa restrictions.
None of the countries would like to put the security if its citizen at stack merely for business.
Countries prefer to keep a check on the incoming of foreign travelers and they discourage those how appears to be a threat to the harmony of the country.
Economic Impact on Tourism Sector
Visa restrictions obviously cause economic loss to the countries.
They deviate approximately 20% of the tourists to the locations where the laws are more liberated. These restrictions affect the bilateral trade and foreign investments also.
This deterrence of the tourists has negative effects on the country for which the visa was applied for. But, it also creates an opportunity for other countries with more liberal visa restrictions.
Poor countries can take advantage of these tourists deflection by facilitating their visa policies.
Benefits of Visa facilitation
Visa facilitation have shown positive effects on the tourism sector especially the on arrival visa regime.
In the press release by UNWTO, 62% of the world’s population required a traditional visa before departure in 2014 down from 77% in 2008.
In the same year, 19% of the world’s population was able to enter a destination without a visa, while 16% could receive a visa on arrival, as compared to 17% and 6% in 2008.
Visa facilitation is a key for the economic growth and job creation through tourism. Although a lot of work has to be done in this field, but the governments around the world have shown good signs.
The adverse effects of Visa Regime are now visible each of us. But they cannot be made obsolete due to obvious reasons.
It will be very interesting to see what will be the stand of different governments and will they tackle this issue.
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