First Visa Application Centre of Czech Republic in India opens in Mumbai
In September 2015, the Czech Republic opened its first Visa Application Centre in India, which was inaugurated by H.E. Milan Hovorka, Ambassador Designate for the Czech Republic in India and Bhutan. Launched in Mumbai in partnership with VFS Global, the new centre will provide visa services for the many Indian tourists interested in visiting the Central European country.
Ambassador Designate Hovorka said that he was keen to take bilateral relations between the two countries to the next level. He added, “India is an important country, and Mumbai is an important part of this nation. We are interested in strengthening ties with other parts of India as well, and definitely we would like to promote people-to-people contact.”
In 2014, the Czech Republic received 9000 short-term visa applications, which was a 20% increase from the 2013 numbers. In only the first six months of 2015, 7500 visas have been processed, giving an indication to the increasing popularity of the Czech Republic. The country wishes to tap different groups from India, including the Bollywood film industry, tourists looking for wellness holidays and families keen on destination weddings.
The Czech Republic will be participating in the road-show held by the four European Quartet countries that include Slovakia, Poland and Hungary. Though the countries compete against each other at various levels, they also work together to promote joint interests such as tourism in the region. The road-show slated for December 2015 is a part of this initiative.