Transforming Tourism: Indonesia's Visa-Free Initiative

The Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy (Kemenparekraf) has announced that the proposal for visa-free entry for 20 countries is nearing finalization.
Minister Sandiaga Salahuddin Uno shared this update during a virtual press conference in Jakarta, emphasizing that the process is in its concluding stages, with a tailored list of 20 countries chosen for their significant economic impact.
Image: Sandiaga Salahuddin Uno, the Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy (Kemenparekraf);
Sandiaga highlighted that the implementation of visa-free entry will undergo a six-month evaluation period. He expressed confidence that the proposal, submitted in December last year, will be enacted before the end of his term in the Indonesia Maju administration.
In December 2023, Kemenparekraf proposed visa-free entry for countries that are top contributors to international tourism in Indonesia, as well as those with significant economic ties. The shortlisted countries include Australia, China, India, South Korea, the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, the Netherlands, Japan, Russia, Taiwan, New Zealand, Italy, Spain, and two Middle Eastern countries.
Sandiaga emphasized that adding these 20 visa-free countries aims to boost international tourist arrivals, stimulate domestic consumption, attract investments, and facilitate digital economy growth. He acknowledged the potential revenue impact, estimating a loss of IDR 3 trillion in non-tax state revenue (PNBP) from the visa-free policy.
Sandiaga also stressed that the visa-free policy isn't solely about increasing visitor numbers but also about fostering sustainable and quality tourism. He underscored the importance of selecting countries whose tourists significantly contribute to Indonesia's tourism economy. "Our focus is on green tourism transformation, targeting countries with substantial economic impact while also considering reciprocity and policies that benefit local economies," he explained.
Sandiaga mentioned that Indonesia should align its tourism policies with neighboring countries like Thailand, Vietnam, and Singapore, which have already implemented similar visa arrangements. Currently, visa-free entry to Indonesia is granted to 10 ASEAN countries. The addition of more countries to this list aims to attract tourists who economically enhance Indonesia's tourism sector.
Vinsensius Jemadu, Deputy for Tourism Products and Event Organizers at Kemenparekraf, reported that current discussions are addressing the optimal duration of stay based on statistics. For instance, Asia-Pacific tourists typically stay for six days and five nights, while Europeans stay for two weeks.
This structured approach by Kemenparekraf aims not only to increase international tourist arrivals but also to foster sustainable economic growth and enhance Indonesia's position in global tourism.
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