Visa free travel offered to visitors from 47 more countries, including Australia.
After being elected, Indonesian President Joko Widodo promised to boost tourism, one of Indonesia’s strongest economic sectors, and rapidly reach the magic 10-million international visitors’ mark. However, economic slowdown in most Asian economies –particularly from China, Malaysia and Thailand-, a degraded Indonesian image in Australia are now likely to derail the government’s ambitious target to achieve a million additional foreign travellers in just one year.
Now, the government tries to reboost the tourism machine, especially as he already released its forecasts for 20 million foreign travellers by 2019. The best way is then to abolish visas for more tourists in a bid to enhance the destination’s appeal.
Last April, the government already abolished paid visas for 30 countries –from Europe, North America, the Gulf area as well as New Zealand.
A few days ago, Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Rizal Ramli said to Indonesia news agency ANTARA to further give free visa on arrivals to an additional 47 countries, starting from October. “Originally it was proposed to be made effective in January next year but we dont want to wait too long. In addition we want to take advantage of the year end tourist season,” declared Rizal Ramli to ANTARA.
With the addition of 47 more countries, tourists and other travellers from 92 countries would no longer need visa for short term visit to Indonesia. This time, Australia and Taiwan will finally be included into the scheme. Both countries are major sources of incoming travellers for Indonesia.
The new policy of free visa on arrivals will only be implemented at five international airports: Jakarta Soekarno Hatta, Denpasar Ngurah Rai Airport, Surabaya, Medan and Bintan. So far, the total number of visitors is up by 2.7% over the first seven months of 2015 with 5.47 million international arrivals this year compared to 5.33 million during the same period of 2014.