BY AUTUMN, Chinese and Indian travellers will be able to move unhindered between the UK and Ireland with either an Irish or UK visa for the duration of the visa's validity.
Ireland and the UK have agreed to recognise short-stay visas issued by either country for travel to their respective territories, doing away with the need for separate visas when travelling between the two. Ireland’s current regulation already allows UK visa holders to enter Ireland for a short stay.
According to Ireland Tourism, arrivals from China and India rose 68 per cent from 2010 to 2013.
Vineet Gopal, secretary, Outbound Tour Operators Association of India, said: “A single visa for seamless travel in the UK and Ireland will boost tourist traffic from India and open many new destinations.”
C Nagendra Prasad, chairman of Chennai-based Travel Express, added: "The UK is already a popular destination but is usually coupled with other destinations in continental Europe. Now such multi-country itineraries can be contained within Ireland, England and Scotland primarily, and flight costs will be less. This opens up many new combinations for Indian travellers."