Indonesia’s Minster for Tourism and Creative Economies, Sandiaga Uno, has this week confirmed that discussion about increasing the visa-on-arrival fee is still underway.
Speculation as to how grand of an increase will be implemented continues to grow, with many sources suggesting the fee could triple.
Currently, the visa on arrival in Indonesia costs IDR 500,000 and is valid for 30 days. This visa can be extended one time for an additional fee for a further 30 days.
The visa is available to travelers from 92 countries, making it one of the most widely accessible visa-on-arrival programs in the world.
While speaking to the media, Minister Uno did not deny the rumors of a three-fold increase in the visa-on-arrival fee; he did say that any changes to the rate would be on par with other countries offing similar visa categories.
Minister Uno said, “[we] are still looking at benchmarks with other countries. But once again, our goal is quality tourism. For Bali itself [we want] quality and dignified culture-based tourism.”
He added that all parties across the government structure in Indonesia and Bali province must work together.
Minister Uno said, “We have to really work collaboratively, innovative and adaptively” in order to find a way to bring in high-quality tourism across the country.
He confirmed, “We are also trying to increase the number of [international] tourists to 8.5 million [annually, nationally], of which Bali is targeted to have 4.5 million visits.”
Speaking from Nusa Dua in Bali, Minister Uno added his two cents on the recent rise in badly behaved tourists on the island.
He said, “If we talk about four million tourists who come here, maybe the problem is still a very small percentage.”
He shared his beliefs that tourists must be educated about the culture of Bali in order to avoid such incidents happening again.
Minister Uno said he feels the rise in disrespectful and illegal behavior is behave of ignorance and noted that the collective “we” have a responsibility to communicate the rules and expectations effectively.
Minster Uno’s comments about the potential increase in the visa-on-arrival fee come in an in-direct response to Governor Koster’s wish to increase the visa-on-arrival fee for Bali.
Governor Koster wants to make it more expensive for tourists to visit Bali in hopes that this will deter badly behaving tourists.
He also wants to see greater financial checks to be conducted on tourists applying for the visa on arrival to ensure that they have more than sufficient funds to support themselves during their stay.
Indonesia has just formally revoked the visa-free travel program for 159 countries. It is now the case that only travelers from ASEAN nations can travel visa-free in Indonesia.
From a traveler’s perspective, this was a straightforward legislative change since the program had been on pause since the beginning of the lockdown.
When borders reopened in February 2022, tourists were able to gain entry to the country using the paid-for visa on arrival.
This formal cancellation of visa-free travel for tourists to Indonesia was simply a formal policy change to reflect what is already being enforced as the final Covid-19 restrictions are removed.
But it does demonstrate that the Department of Immigration and the Department of Tourism are serious about putting financial boundaries in place to ensure sustainable tourism development in the country.
For now, it remains the case that the most appropriate visa for most holidaymakers and short-stay travelers into Bali is the visa on arrival.
Tourists can apply for their visa on arrival when they touch down in I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport or apply and pay for the visa online no less than 48 hours before arrival.
The visa costs IDR 500,000 and allows citizens from 92 countries, including Australia, New Zealand, the USA, and most European countries.
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