France courts Indian tourists

France has eased visa procedures and planned a new app for Indian tourists, aptly named, Chalo Paris!

Chalo Paris: A special app for Indians travelling to France

Chalo Paris: A special app for Indians travelling to France

France’s capital Paris is an enchanting city. It’s romantic, historic and full of life and excitement. There’s so much to see, from the Eiffel Tower to the Louvre; there’s so much to savour, from the macroons at Ladurée to crepes by the side of Seine; there’s Disneyland, Notre Dame Catherdral, Moulin Rouge shows, shopping at Champs-Élysées, art exhibits at Centre Pompidou… Step out of Paris and France has gems like Marseille, Bordeaux and Lyon, which are rich in culture and history. France is also home to the famous French Riviera, with 115 kms of coastline and beaches, 18 golf courses, 14 ski resorts and approximately 3,000 restaurants.France is a bouquet of diverse and heady flavours and the lucky folks who are planning a holiday there will now face easier visa procedures, and can also be guided by the upcoming official app ‘Chalo Paris,’ which will soon be available at Apple’s App Store and Google Play.

So, the biggest and most exciting news is that from 1st January, 2015, tourist and business visas for Indians visiting France will be delivered by the French consulates within 48 hours (2 working days). The applicant will automatically receive a text message should there be an extension of deadline due to missing documents or inaccuracies in the visa application.

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Mr. Yeshwant Pawar, General Manager, South Asia, Air France KLM said, “We applaud this strategic move on the part of the Embassy as France is a great destination and Paris is highly popular among the new generation of Indian travelers. We consider this as a significant move for making Paris the most accessible European capital for Indian tourists.”

Visa application is now possible from anywhere in India. Previously applicants had to go to the Visa Application Centres (VFS) in their area of permanent residence, but not any longer. So, if you belong to Delhi but stay in Mumbai, you can just go to the Centre in Mumbai.

H.E. Mr François Richier, Ambassador of France to India has also opened 8 new France Visa Application Centres in addition to the 6 already existing centres. The new Centres will be located in Chandigarh, Jalandhar, Pune, Goa, Ahmedabad, Kochi, Hyderabad and Jaipur. Visas will be delivered within 72 hours in these new Centres, due to extra time taken to transport the visa applications to the French consulates.

Finally, “ChaloParis”, the official travel app will soon be launched at Apple’s App Store and Google Play. Suitable for smart phones and tablets, the app has been custom-made for Indian tourists. It offers useful information on monuments, tourist spots and restaurants in Paris, with a particular focus on the vegetarian eateries. It features recommendations by Rashmi Uday Singh, a Paris-fan and acclaimed food-critic. It will also guide you to the most popular shopping areas and night-life options.

The Chalo Paris app recommends and offers directions to other French regions that are easily accessed from the capital city, such as Normandy, the Loire Valley, Mont Saint-Michel, Bordeaux and its vineyards. Other practical features packed in are English-French/ French-English translations, useful telephone numbers and Euro/Rupee convertor.

So, if you are headed for Paris this New Year, here’s a little tip: don’t miss taking a selfie with the chic red polar bears at Four Seasons Hotel George V, Paris!

What else can I say, except, Chalo Paris!