In 2014, as many as 360,400 had Indians visited France. In 2016, there were 552,000 Indian visitors and 136,000 excursionists, marking a significant increase (53%) in the number of Indians choosing France as their travel destination.
Based on the number of visas issued, 50,000 travellers from Tamil Nadu and Puducherry have visited France in 2016. With the Chennai branch of the Consulate General of France operational from March, where one can obtain a visa in 48 hours, a direct flight between Chennai and Paris operated by Jet Airways will begin plying from October 29.
Announcing the direct flight between the two countries, Alexandre Ziegler, Ambassador of France to India, said, “There is a fast-growing French community in Chennai and Tamil Nadu. In addition, France is also investing in south India.
The direct flight will increase the cooperation between Chennai and France. The simplified visa process is the welcome message we are sending to residents of South India to visit France.”
Catherine Suard, Consul General at Puducherry and Chennai, said, “Since 80% of the requests for visa issuance was coming from Chennai, we decided to have a branch here. Earlier, the process took longer since it was being done from Puducherry, where it was sent back and forth. Now, with the office situated here, the process,
from application to and sending the visa back to the VFS office will take only 48 hours.”
France and India are increasingly well connected with a total of 31 weekly direct flights on Air France, Air India and Jet Airways. “With the addition of this service, tourists can choose Paris as a destination or in transit to other cities in Europe and North America,” added the ambassador.
Vinay Dube, Chief Executive Officer, Jet Airways, added, “We are delighted to be the first airline to operate a non-stop service to Paris with our codeshare partners - Air France, KLM and Delta Air Lines.
This flight will connect guests to as many as 50 destinations in Europe and 20 onwards in North America.”
“France remains the Number One tourism destination offering its visitors a plethora of ever evolving tourism experiences that appeal to the discerning Indian travellers,” said Sheetal Munshaw, Director India of Atout France – France Tourism Development Agency.