Booking train tickets just got easier for foreigners and NRIs, thanks to IRCTC!
Gone are the days when foreigners and NRIs were forced to rely on tour operators and relatives in India to book their train tickets. IRCTC is now making changes to its website to facilitate international transactions.
A senior official at the Railway Ministry told The Financial Express “Our aim is to facilitate foreigners and NRIs hassle-free ticket booking facility and Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) has been instructed to do the needful.”
The move will allow individuals with credit or debit cards issued by foreign banks, to buy tickets on the IRCTC website.
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Luxury trains like ‘Palace on Wheels,’ ‘Maharaja’ and other tourist specials – which are immensely popular with international travelers – are sure to benefit greatly from this move.In addition to such tourist specials, foreigners and NRIs will also be able to book tickets for regular services as well.
According to the IRCTC, this is the second time the website will facilitate international transactions. Cases highlighting misuse of credit cards pushed the IRCTC to drop the service the first time around. They have since strengthened the security of their website through various means, including multilayered security measures against hacking.
“We have incorporated certain checks and balances in our website to prevent misuse, making the system a safe booking exercise for foreigners as well as for us,” a senior IRCTC official said.
The service is expected to be available at the end of the month.
The IRCTC website is equipped to handle 15,000 bookings per minute, which works out to 250 tickets per second. 58% of all tickets sold are believed to be booked online.