TRAVEL + LEISURE

INDONESIA CONSIDERS VISA WAIVER TO BOOST TOURISM AND ECONOMY

Navigating new horizons: Indonesia's bold step towards visa waivers to propel tourism and economic renewal

11.12.2023
BY MAXWELL SOETOMO
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In a bid to revitalize its tourism sector and stimulate economic growth, Indonesia is exploring the possibility of implementing a visa waiver program for citizens of several prominent nations. The list includes global powerhouses such as the United States, China, Australia, India, South Korea, Germany, the United Kingdom, and France.

The Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy, Sandiaga Uno, in a recent announcement, revealed that the government is actively considering the visa waiver initiative as a strategic move to attract foreign visitors, boost tourism, and encourage investments. The directive from the president underscores the importance of leveraging tourism as a key driver for economic development.

An official statement from the Indonesian government outlined the objective of completing the compilation of eligible countries within one month. This ambitious timeline suggests a strong commitment to expeditiously roll out the program and harness its potential benefits.

The decision comes on the heels of Singapore's recent announcement of a 30-day mutual visa exemption with China, scheduled to take effect early next year. Indonesia now joins the ranks of Southeast Asian nations, including Thailand and Malaysia, in contemplating visa waivers for Chinese visitors. This collective move recognizes China as a significant and influential travel market in the region.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Indonesia witnessed a thriving tourism industry, with over 16 million foreign arrivals in 2019. Despite the challenges posed by the global health crisis, the country has shown resilience, welcoming 9.49 million foreign visitors in the first ten months of the current year. This figure represents a remarkable 124.3 percent increase compared to the corresponding period in 2022, signaling a potential resurgence in Indonesia's tourism sector.

The proposed visa waiver program reflects Indonesia's commitment to adapting and innovating its tourism policies to align with changing global dynamics. By facilitating easier entry for citizens of key nations, Indonesia aims to position itself as an attractive destination for international travelers, thereby contributing to the recovery of its economy and the growth of its tourism industry.

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