By Joseph Varghese/Staff Reporter
There has been 20% increase in the number of visas issued to France from Qatar during 2015 compared to 2014.
“The total number of visas issued in 2015 from Qatar amounted to over 31,000. More than half of them were for Qatari nationals,” French ambassador Eric Chevallier said
The ambassador was addressing an event to highlight the scope of tourism in France as well as the facilities offered by the embassy to get a Schengen visa for visiting the country.
“All Qatari citizens will be provided visa in 48 hours while other residents will be able to get the visa within two weeks through Capago Mena, the official agency to handle the visa process for France in Qatar,”
Capago Mena now also offers a ‘doorstep application’ for all, whereby one agent offers a personalised service at home or office for the application procedure.
“We believe that the number will go up as we promote various destinations in France. We have also set up a very efficient visa application system which is very comfortable, smooth and easy. We hope the number of visitors from Qatar will improve this year too,” he continued.
The ambassador highlighted that France has increased the security level for the visitors. “We have also increased the facilities. There is also an improved quality mechanism for taxis at the airport. We have increased security measures among several areas especially since last year.”
He observed that France is one of the most sought after destinations in the world with a total of 85mn tourists visiting the country in 2015. “We expect to attract 100mn visitors by 2020. Our government has been enhancing its efforts to welcome guests in the best conditions by further developing infrastructures and reinforcing security measures in all tourist areas and monuments,”
The envoy also noted that as the summer is fast approaching, the country is expected to witness a rush in travellers. He advised those who plan to travel to France to take an appointment as early as possible before the holiday season to avoid any delays.
During the event Capago Mena announced the launch of its new magazine entitled “My French Link”, dedicated to promoting France. A short movie, produced by some Qatari youth about their latest visit to France, was also screened at the event.
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