Opening of France’s first tourist kiosk in town

There is good news for those whose list of must-see places includes the Eiffel Tower or the Sacré-Coeur. For the first time, a tourist kiosk was opened in the city by the French Embassy in association with VFS Global.

Not only can people use the kiosk to learn about the different destinations in France, but they can also book tickets for city tours, concerts, and passes to the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower. They can do this at the same time as the visa application process.

The move came at a time when the number of people visiting France from India – for business, study and tourism – has grown exponentially since 2015, when the 48-hour visa processing time was reduced. introduced by the French government for Indian candidates.

“It’s a world first. The kiosk will not only provide information on destinations in France, but will also allow travelers to fully plan their trip, ”said Alexandre Ziegler, French Ambassador to India. By the end of June, two more kiosks should be opened in the country, in New Delhi and Mumbai.

Ziegler added that in 2015, up to 5 million Indians visited France, an increase of 45% compared to 2014. In 2016, the number increased by 20% and in the first quarter of 2017, 1.5 lakh of visa applications were received. from across the country. Of these, 75% were tourist visa applications. “Bengaluru is one of the fastest growing cities in terms of visa applications for France. Over 30,000 visa applications were processed from the city last year.

Spread over 24,000 square feet, the newly opened VFS center in Langford Town will process visas from 31 diplomatic missions. Six counters are dedicated exclusively to France visa applicants. It also has a large waiting and check-in area, a premium lounge for personalized assistance and a back office for handling requests.

VFS Global, a company that works in 127 countries to process visas, has partnered with Atout France, the French Tourism Development Agency, to promote tourism in France in India. The kiosk was created as a pilot initiative within this framework.

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