Speaking at his weekly press conference in Jakarta, the Indonesian Minister for Tourism and Creative Economies, Sandiaga Uno, told reporters that the visa-on-arrival program is helping to improve visitor numbers.
Minister Uno explained to reporters that the visa-on-arrival policy directly influences the number of tourists visiting Indonesia as a whole, specifically Bali. He explained, ‘According to data, 476,970 foreign tourists visited Indonesia in July 2022. The figure is the highest recorded since the ]start of the] COVID-19 pandemic’.
He confirmed that between January and July 2022, a total of 1.2 million international tourists arrived in Indonesia, the vast majority of which arrived in Bali. Minster Uno shared figures to illustrate his faith in the success of the visa-on-arrival program. He shared that tourist numbers increased by 40% from June into July 2022, as was hoped for the first full peak season since the pandemic began. Most international visitors arrived from Australia, followed by Singapore, Malaysia, India, and the USA in that order.
Based on stats from the BPS (National Statistics Office), Minister Uno confirmed that 84,600 Australian visits to Indonesia were in July 2022 alone. An increase of 31% from the month before. The second highest number of tourists to Indonesia came from Singapore, totaling 59,800 people in July 2022. Travelers from neighboring Malaysia to Indonesia totaled 43,600.
Minister Uno touched on the number of tourists visiting Bali specifically. He said, ‘The number of overseas tourist visits to Bali reached 246,504 in July 2022. It is the highest figure [since the] pandemic [began] with the number of visits per day [averaging] nine thousand people. He confirmed that the majority of tourists, both domestic and international arrived in Bali via I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport and Benoa Harbour.
The tourism minister confirmed that the visa-on-arrival policy will remain in place for the 75 countries currently listed. He noted the recent additions of the Maldives, Monaco, and Colombia. The visa on arrival for citizens of the 75 countries costs IDR 500,000 (USD 33) and is payable upon arrival. This tourist visa is valid for 30-days and can be extended one time for an additional 30-days.
Minister Uno reiterated that the visa-free program remains in place for citizens of ASEAN nations. He said, ‘Nine countries have become the subjects to the special visa-free program for tourism visits to Indonesia, namely the Philippines, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam’. This partnership also allows Indonesian citizens to visit the other eight nations visa-free.
Minister Uno’s update coincides with a statement issued by Bali Governor Wayan Koster. This week Governor Koster shared news from the provincial government regarding the success of the Covid-19 vaccine rollout and the island’s tourism recovery.
Governor Koster shared how Bali is ahead of targets regarding tourism numbers. It was hoped that the Island of the Gods would achieve 40% of pre-pandemic visit numbers by December 2022. Data from January to July 2022 has confirmed that numbers are hitting over 50% of pre-pandemic levels, putting the island’s tourism recovery on track.
Earlier in the year, Minster Uno shared his targets for the Indonesian tourism sector to recover from the pandemic. He set targets to welcome one million international visitors to Bali specifically by the end of the year. Governor Koster confirmed that 945,006 international arrivals had landed in Bali by the 2nd of September, once again asserting that Bali’s recovery is right on track.
With the G20 Summit in November welcoming international delegations and the world’s media, as well as the Christmas and New Year holidays, it can be comfortably predicted that Bali will surpass tourism targets for 2022. After 2-years of travel restrictions and lockdowns, the light at the end of the tunnel for Bali’s tourism is drawing ever closer.
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