Lord Bilimoria Welcomes BBPA Calls For New Indian Visitor Visa

BBPA-logoLord Bilimoria, creator of Cobra Beer, has responded to a recent BBPA blog post that backs calls for a new Indian visitor visa to boost tourism:

“I wholeheartedly support the recommendations for a new India visitor visa to boost UK tourism, which has been backed by the BBPA.

“For centuries, the UK and India have shared deep economic and cultural ties and the two nations have a long and important history of trade and enterprise. Following the recent – and catastrophic – Brexit vote, it is now more vital than ever that Britain sends a strong message to the world that it is still open for business and its trading relationship with India is absolutely pivotal to that message.

“The British brewing and pub industries in particular are enormous beneficiaries of overseas tourism and any steps to encourage more visitors from India – and indeed across the world – would be hugely welcome.”

More Indians are travelling abroad than ever before, with numbers growing 10% year-on-year. Despite this, however, over the last ten years fewer Indian tourists have been coming to Britain. France has now overtaken Britain as laying claim to being the number one European destination for Indian tourists, welcoming over half a million of them each year.

The overseas tourism market is, of course, hugely important to British brewing and pubs. Visiting a pub is fourth on the list of things to do when tourists come to the UK, and seven out of ten overseas visitors come to a pub whilst they are here. India Pale Ale, an historic, world renowned style known more commonly known as IPA, has been shipped to India since the 1820s, and, currently, beer exports to India from the UK are worth circa £300,000, a seven-fold increase since 2011.