India is becoming an increasingly influential economy as its middle classes continue to swell. The country has also become a region with which Britain has endeavoured to build business relations, with various high-profile politicians touring the region, including prime minister David Cameron, who will make his third visit in two years next month.
However, while India continues to develop increasingly desirable trade benefits and its people build up an ever more impressive range of skills, the UK visa system continues to dampen people's spirits when it comes to sharing these for mutual benefit.
One of the latest studies to highlight the issue has been conducted by Skyscanner India. The research asked 1,000 Indian people about how their travel decisions are impacted by visa issues.
The results showed that the US topped the country Indians would most like to visit if visas were no issues. However, the UK came in second place, with 120 votes.
Furthermore, 89 per cent of Indian travellers said that they would support the introduction of a common visa similar to the Schengen visa that would allow them to visit more than one country in the ASEAN region. The UK continues to opt out of the Schengen arrangement.
Kavitha Gnanamurthy, Skyscanner’s marketing manager for India, commented on the findings: “In light of recent developments of the Indian government introducing a liberalizing visa regime, our survey provides pertinent and useful insights into Indian travellers preference governing visas.
“From wanting a single visa system for ASEAN countries to choosing their holiday destinations based on ease of getting a visa, governments and tourism bodies in the ASEAN countries should take note of travellers sentiments to ensure increased visitor arrival traffic into their countries.”
The results are another finding that the government might find is worth taking into consideration when it comes to considering how UK immigration regulations impact travel for both tourism and business purposes.