More Bangaloreans visiting France

Number of visas issued went up by 5,000 over the last two years

The number of Bangaloreans visiting France for business, study and tourism has gone up in the last two years and capital Paris is the hottest holiday destination in France for Bangaloreans.

The Consulate General of France in Bangalore told Deccan Herald  that visa requests have been on the rise over the past three years.

The consulate issued 9,000 visas to Bangaloreans in 2011, 12,500 in 2012 and 14,500 in 2013, clearly marking an increase in travel to France from Bangalore. 

There has been a rise in all three classes of visitors - business, study and tourism. Maximum number of visas has been sought by the business community and within that, the IT fraternity.They form almost 90 per cent of the total visas issued. As France and India interact closely on IT projects, student exchange programmes, academic partnerships and scientific cooperation, the number of visa requests too has steadily gone up.

Those who travel to France for their studies mostly head to business schools, - grandes écoles like HEC, ESSEC, ESC, engineering and science institutions, French consulate officials told Deccan Herald.

There has also been a spike in the number of tourist visas issued from this office.“As we observe, more and more families are heading towards France for holidays. With the increase in purchasing power, there has been a marked shift in preference for holiday destinations. Most of the itineraries typically cover popular monuments and museums. 

“The cities most visited by Indians seeking a visa from our Consulate are: Paris, Toulouse (for its commendable aeronautics base), Rennes, Bordeaux, Marseille and Côtes d’Azur, Alps or Pyrenees region, etc. Many tourists also make it a point to stop over in Switzerland – a destination much fantasised by Bollywood,” French officials said.

Paris is popular among Bangaloreans for its museums, theatres, monuments and architectural styles. It is also known for its haute couture tailoring.

The Bangalore Consulate General of France was established in October 2008, while the visa section has been functioning since February 2011. The visa section issues both French and Schengen visas - the latter enables travellers to visit several European countries with a single visa.

Schengen visas are mostly issued to tourists and to those applying for short-term visa, while the France visa is issued to students, salaried persons, research scholars and all those who require to stay for over 90 days.

The Bangalore office has consular jurisdiction over Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.

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