Tripura, India, India will begin ferrying its first tourists to Mumbai next week, as India’s prime minister announced the country’s new tourism rules.
India has been under pressure from its two largest cities to implement tighter controls on travel, as it attempts to attract more foreign visitors amid a slowdown in global growth.
After India’s government issued the new rules in January, several large cities across the country suspended their annual ferrying season, and some tourist resorts have announced that they will not open for the next six months.
The new rules, which will be announced Friday, require that tourists must pay a toll to get into India.
Tourists who are caught on the ferry at a port will have to pay a one-time fee of about $40 to enter India, up from $25.
It’s a steep rise from the current, more than $30, the government said.
But the hike is expected to have no negative impact on tourism, and it’s hoped the ferrying will provide a boost to tourism in India.
Mumbai has been the world’s most popular tourist destination for a long time, but it has experienced a sharp drop in the number of tourists visiting after the government announced restrictions on tourist travel.
The city is expected, however, to resume ferrying in July, and tourists who want to go to the city before then should pay the toll, the city said.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the government will soon launch a program that will allow tourists to pay an annual toll, but he didn’t say how much it would cost.
“I will open the ticket on Friday,” Modi said at a news conference after the announcement, adding that the government was working on the program to make sure that tourists are not trapped in the system.
Indian tourism was a $2.6 billion industry in 2013, and the government says it expects to lose $7 billion next year.
Tourists can pay for their trip with cash or credit cards, but the government has said it will only issue credit cards to tourists who have not previously paid a toll.