With an aim to draw more tourists from India, the Embassy of Israel in India has opened a Israel Visa Application Centre in Kolkata to cater to West Bengal and the seven states of Northeast.

Visa applications under the jurisdiction of its New Delhi centre will also be acceptable at the Israel Visa Application Centre in Kolkata. The visa application categories include B1 for employment, B2 for business, tourism, meeting or conference and A2 for students.

“Israel is experiencing a tourism boom like never before. India has recorded a half yearly growth of 82% as compared to the same period in 2015 and has become one of the best performing markets in Asia for Israel. Keeping this in mind, the Ministry consistently aims to introduce initiatives that ease the procedure of visa applications to Israel,” said Hassan Madah, Director, Israel Ministry of Tourism – India & Philippines.

The new centre in Kolkata will no longer require residents from West Bengal, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura to send in their documents to the embassy in New Delhi. “We are confident that this will be seen as a welcoming move to increase interest among travellers from these regions of India,” said Madah.

Among other initiatives, Israel recently reduced its visa fees for Indian citizens from Rs 1,700 to Rs 1,100. In December 2017, visa documentation was relaxed for applicants who have availed visas of Schengen countries, US, Canada, Australia or Israel and have completed their travel to these destinations.

The Israel Ministry of Tourism will be conducting a roadshow in Kolkata on 29 August to increase interest for the destination among consumers and trade fraternity.

“This will coincide well with the recent opening of the visa application centre to help us tap into newer segments. We also organised our maiden roadshow in Guwahati in May this year and successfully introduced the varied tourism offerings of Israel,” said Madah.

The Kolkata Israel Visa Application Centre is located at Acropolis Mall in East Kolkata Township.