TEMPO.CO, Jakarta – The government will exempt entry visas for China, Australia, Japan, Russia and South Korea to boost the number of foreign tourists entering Indonesia.
“With this visa exemption, there will be hopefully additional 500,000 foreign tourists coming to Indonesia every year,” said Maritime Coordinating Minister Indroyono Soesilo on Wednesday.
He said even though the visa exemption policy will omit state revenue from visa fee of US$25 per tourist, the potential of foreign exchange income from these tourists is much larger than earning from visa fee.
“With one tourist spending around US$1,200 in Indonesia, we can gain at least additional US$540 million per year,” said Indroyono.
He said in the cabinet meeting on Monday, President Joko Widodo targeted to increase the number of foreign tourists from 10 million by 2015 to 20 million by 2019.
The Central Statistics Agency (BPS) recorded 6.95 million tourist arrivals from January to September 2014. There were 791,300 foreign tourist arrivals in September 2014. The tourists consisted of Singaporeans (15.24 percent), Australians (14.03 percent), Malaysians (13.23 percent) and China (11.23 percent).
BERNADETTE CHRISTINA MUNTHE