Indonesia mulls visa-free facility expansion

The Indonesian government may grant visa-free entry to a larger number of countries as it seeks to boost quality tourist arrivals.

Presently, only passport holders from ASEAN member countries are permitted to enter Indonesia without a visa.

More countries may benefit from Indonesia’s visa-free facility; Jakarta pictured

Discussions among related government agencies are now underway to determine if 20 nominated countries could avail the facility next.

Sandiaga Uno, Indonesia minister of tourism and creative economy, said president Joko Widodo had instructed the consideration of a visa-free facility as a means to boost tourism, investment, and the local economy.

Proposed countries to benefit from this move are Australia, China, India, South Korea, the US, England, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Japan, Russia, Taiwan, New Zealand, Italy, Spain, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, as well as other Middle Eastern countries. Passport holders of these countries currently need a visa-on-arrival.

Sandiaga explained that these candidates were chosen based on per capita income of the country of origin, length of stay, average expenditure per visit, number of outbound tourists from the country of origin, as well as security conditions and health quality of the country of origin.

He added: “The goal is not just quantity but also quality. The selected countries are contributors of quality tourists.”

Travellers from these countries would also likely support green tourism, which will ensure the successful transformation of Indonesia towards regenerative tourism.

Sandiaga believes that offering these source markets visa-free entry would give Indonesia a competitive edge in the battle for quality travellers.

“Vietnam, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand have flexible policies. So, we need to adapt our policies to the current situation to face competition with our neighbours,” he remarked.

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