Indonesia's state news agency Antara reported on Friday (29/01) that the government of Indonesia will sign a regulation next week that allows visa-free visits for 80 additional countries, including Australia. Currently, a total of 90 countries already enjoy this visa-free facility (for trips that last a maximum of 30 days). Antara quoted the words of the country's Deputy Tourism Minister for Overseas Promotion I Gde Pitana. In 2015 the government provided this facility to an additional 45 countries in an effort to boost the tourism industry and generate more foreign exchange earnings.
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Indonesia welcomed a total of 808,767 foreign tourists in October 2014, up 12.3 percent from the same month last year, according to official data from Statistics Indonesia (BPS). Meanwhile, on a month-to-month basis, foreign tourist arrivals rose 2.2 percent from September 2014. Suryamin, Chief at BPS, said that the highest percentage increases on a month-to-month basis occurred in Adi Sucipto International Airport (Yogyakarta), followed by the Port of Tanjung Priok (Jakarta), and Sultan Syarif Kasim II International Airport (Riau).
As the number of foreign tourists rise rapidly and there is increasing demand for conferences, exhibitions and business meetings, Indonesia will see a massive inflow of investments for the construction of hotels and condominium hotels (condominium hotels combine features of apartments and hotels). In 2015, the value of new (condo) hotels projects is estimated at IDR 38.5 trillion (USD $3.2 billion), up 57.3 percent from last year. Locations that attract tourists and locations close to education centers are the primary choice.
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On March 10, 2016, the Indonesian President issued President Regulation number 21 of 2016 regarding Visits Without Visa (New Regulation). The New Regulation increases the amount of countries for which residents are allowed to enter Indonesia without a visa to 169 countries. Moreover, where previously the visa exemption only applied to leisure trips for the majority of the countries, under the New Regulation the reasons of visit also include other reasons for visit, including business meetings.
The Minister of Manpower (Minister) regulation number 16 of 2015 on the Procedures to Employ Expatriates (New Foreign Worker Regulation) which we discussed in a previous column, has lead to many complaints from foreign investors due to its stringent rules. As a result of these complaints the Minister of Manpower issued an amendment to the New Foreign Worker Regulation, number 35 of 2015 (Amendment). In this column we discuss the main changes of the Amendment.
Recently the president issued Presidential Regulation number 69 of 2015 on Exemptions of Visit Visa (Visit Visa Regulation). Before the issuance of the Visit Visa Regulation, foreigners were obliged to obtain a Visit Visa before being able to enter Indonesia. Under the new regulation foreigners are exempted from this obligation. The Visit Visa Regulation is an attempt of the Indonesian government to boost the tourist industry and increase the number of foreign tourist in Indonesia. The Visit Visa Regulation is in force since June 10, 2015.
A total of 1,555,609 foreign tourists have visited the island of Bali, the most popular tourist destination in Indonesia, in the first five months of 2015, an 11.3 percentage point growth from the same period last year. Given that the number of foreign tourists usually peaks in the period June-September it is most likely that the government’s target of welcoming 4 million foreign tourists on Bali in 2015 will be achieved, or exceeded. Most tourists that visit Bali originate from Australia, China and Japan.
Indonesian Minister for Economic Affairs, Sofyan Djalil, announced an economic policy package that is to be implement to boost the Indonesian economy, particularly in a move to improve the country’s current account balance, which is the broadest measurement of foreign exchange flows, including trade, services, interest payments and remittances. One new policy change involves visa-free travel into Indonesia. Starting from April 2015, Indonesia will allow foreigners from an additional 30 countries to enter Indonesia without a visa.
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