Saturday, February 20, 2010

No more Short Visa

For many years, government officials have stated that the tourism sector is a very important source of income for Indonesia, therefore very serious efforts must be made to attract foreign tourists to come and stay here as long as possible.

I wonder whether that that's the reason why the short time visa would be scraped, as reported by Tourism Indonesia below.

Sunday, February 14, 2010
Indonesia's new visa rule sparks outcry

Resort developers and tour agents who market tour packages for Batam and Bintan islands are crying foul over Jakarta's sudden decision to change its visa rules.

On Jan 25, the Law and Human Rights Ministry said it would scrap the option for a US$10 visa-on-arrival for visitors from non-Asean countries, like the United States and Australia, which would let them stay in Indonesia for seven days.

It said that from Jan 26, only the 30-day visa costing US$25 would be issued.

Officials pitched the change as a bonus. Tourists could now stay longer to see more of the country, as their 30-day stay could then be extended by another month without them having to leave the country.

The government also said that having just one type of visa would reduce incidents of graft. It cited cases of officials issuing US$10 visas to those who paid US$25 and pocketing the difference.

But their move caused panic among travel agents in places such as Singapore and Taiwan. Many had already sold packages to Batam and Bintan, which are part of Indonesia's Riau Islands province, and had to dig into their own pockets to cover the extra costs.

Mr Andrew Dixon, one of the owners of the Nikoi Island resort off Bintan, pointed out that many visitors went to the islands for only a day of golf. 'It will increase the cost of a visit to Bintan for a family of four by US$60,' he told The Sunday Times. 'The weekend travel market is already price-sensitive as it competes with Malaysia.'

5 comments:

Rakesh Kamandal said...

Nice article thanks for sharing

H. Nizam said...

Rakesh,

You are welcome.
Thanks you for your comment.

Kiwi Riverman's Blogesphere said...

Perhaps it will prove to be a positive change.

Regards,

Peter

pj said...

Hi Harry

I suppose it will be an improvement if the 30 day visa is extendable. Whats lacking is the how-to and where. There is a big potential here for agents, touts and the like to make a little on the side arranging these extensions.

I'm not sure if $15.00 will seriously impact the decision to go golfing for the day. Singapore is a pretty expensive place to play.

H. Nizam said...

@Peter,

I also hope so.


@Pj,

Hopefully the 30 days visa could expendable, which would temp tourists to stay longer and spend more here.