Saturday, January 23, 2010

Easy way to get Indonesian Visa

Japanese travelers can now obtain Indonesian Visa on board a plane if they fly on Garuda. Here is an article quoted from The Jakarta Post.

Garuda launches new services to net more Japanese travelers

State airline company PT Garuda Indonesia, in cooperation with the immigration office, has launched an onboard visa application service on inbound flights from Japan.

The introduction of the service coincides with the launch of a premium tour and travel operation in Japan, managed by Garuda’s local partner and subsidiary.

The maiden flight of the “visa on board” service began Thursday, carrying approximately 180 tourists from Tokyo’s Narita International Airport to Ngurah Rai International Airport in Denpasar, Bali.

Each tourist is required, after checking in their baggage at the airport, to pay US$10 for a seven-day visa or $25 for a 30-day visa at a designated counter.

The latter is extendable for another 30 days without extra charge.

Two immigration officers are stationed in all Garuda flights from Japan to process the tourist visa applications.

Garuda currently flies to Narita, Chubu International Airport in Nagoya, and Kansai International Airport in Osaka.

Non-Japanese travelers on these flights can also make use of the “visa on board” service.

Those granted visa clearance are given a pass card that allows them to go through immigration checkpoints at Indonesian airports without further inspection.

Garuda CEO Emirsyah Satar dubbed the new service “the only one of its kind in the global airline industry”, adding it would also be introduced in the airline’s flights from South Korea and China.

Aboard the plane with Emirsyah to celebrate the maiden flight were Indonesian Ambassador to Japan Jusuf Anwar, Director General for Immigration Muhammad Indra, and Culture and Tourism Ministry Director for Marketing I Gde Pitana.

Indra said the new service was a step forward from the current visa-on-arrival, and a product of the office’s first 100-day program.

“This service is also a response to inconveniences that may occur in the visa-on-arrival procedures at airports,” he said.

He played down the possibility of security threats from the new visa clearance system, saying travelers from Japan posed a low security threat.

Pitana praised the new initiative, saying it would do a lot to detract from Indonesia’s oft-ridiculed airport-based immigration services.

“The tourism industry is really about keeping up an image, and the immigration service is the first thing travelers have to deal with,” he said.

He added he had high hopes for the new service to be able to help boost the number of Japanese travelers visiting Indonesia.

From January to November last year, the number of visitors to Indonesia from Japan reached 405,000, or a 17 percent drop from the same period in 2008.

Pitana said the fall was largely due to the impact of the global economic crisis on Japanese consumers.

To further develop the Japanese market, Garuda, in cooperation with its local partner Good Luck Tour Co., launched Wednesday its Japan operation of the Garuda Orient Holiday, a tour and travel package that offers wider alternatives for travel activities for premium travelers, provided by Garuda subsidiary Aerowisata.

Aerowisata’s Japan operation is the fourth of its kind after Australia, New Zealand and South Korea.

Among destinations included in the Orient Holiday package are diving adventures in Bunaken and Raja Ampat, tours of historical sites such as Borobudur and Prambanan, ecotourism in Komodo Island and Bali, and cultural tours to the Saung Udjo Angklung Studio and batik producers in Surakarta.

“With the Orient Holiday operation now in Japan, we expect to boost visitor numbers to Indonesia using Garuda by at least 10 percent,” Emirsyah said.

5 comments:

umihoney said...

innovative idea,a boon to tourism industry.I'm happy if Indonesia prosper.It would be good for the region as a whole.

colson said...

If it proves to be a grand tourism boosting idea indeed, why not extend it to other parts/countries of the world?

H. Nizam said...

Umihoney,

Yes, we are also happy to see Malaysia developed rapidly, which is good for the region as well.

H. Nizam said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
H. Nizam said...

Colson,

It would be great indeed, especially if the Indonesia-Europe v.v flights are resumed.
I think the guys at Garuda also have the same idea.