India’s apex hospitality Association – Federation of Hotel & Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI) has once again submitted a representation to Shri Jyotiraditya Scindia, Hon’ble Union Minister of Civil Aviation, requesting the immediate withdrawal of the mandatory filling of the online Air Suvidha form for inbound travellers. The Association has apprised the Minister of the difficulties encountered by passengers which consequently is posing a hindrance to the growth of Indian tourism, post-pandemic.
FHRAI stated that with restrictions being relaxed across most countries and with India’s vaccination drive yielding fruitful results, it is imperative that India also make necessary relaxations in this regard. The Association pointed out that many guests miss flights due to their inability to submit the form in time, resulting in the cancelation of hotel room bookings. Since many travellers book flights through third-party online sites or apps which do not inform about this requirement, passengers are caught off-guard.
Not only is filling out the online form tedious, coupled with difficulty in navigating the site and in uploading documents but also many the travellers were completely unaware of the requirement until arriving at the check-in. With several passengers having missed their flights to India, the Association has appealed for the Ministry to at least provision physical forms as an alternative to the online forms.
Inbound travellers have opined that filling of the Air Suvidha form through mobile devices is a cumbersome exercise. Passengers have voiced difficulty in uploading passports and vaccination certificates on the online portal. Uploading images of passports and vaccination certificates in specified file sizes and formats for those without high-speed internet is time consuming. The Indian tourism and hospitality industry cannot afford to lose potential tourists dropping plans of travel to India.