An official from the Bali Hotel and Restaurant Association has proposed that the central government resume the free visa program for travelers from ASEAN countries.
The Head of the Indonesian Hotel and Tourism Association for Bali (PHRI), I Gusti Ngurah Rai Suryawijaya, confirmed that he has proposed that the central government resume the free visa program for all ASEAN countries to revive Bali tourism faster.
Suryawijaya emphasized that the free visa is different from the visa on arrival program that was recently resumed for 42 countries.
“The VoA and the free visa program are two different things. Travelers are still required to pay USD $35 (IDR 500,000) to get the VoA while the free visa program provides access to travelers without payment,” Suryawijaya said on Tuesday (29/3).
Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, when the free visa program was still implemented, Bali received a large number of visitors from the ASEAN countries.
“When the free visa was still being implemented in 2019, Indonesia received over 14 million visitors and 6.3 million of them visited Bali,” Suryawijaya added. He also proposed that the government extend the visa on arrival program to other European Union countries.
If the government implements this program this year, Bali tourism is expected to have a 40 percent increase by the end of 2022 and a full recovery in 2023. With the current implementation of visa on arrival, Bali has reached 25 percent hotel occupancy, up from 15 percent.
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