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Visa On Arrival Helps Drive Demand For Travel In Bali From Indian Tourists

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It only takes a quick look on social media to see that Indonesia’s visa-on-arrival system receives mixed reviews from travelers. For travelers from eighty-six countries, the visa on arrival offers up to 60 days in the archipelago. This makes Indonesia one of the most accessible countries for travelers on ‘weak’ passports.

Close Up Of Indian Passport

However, since international borders reopened in February 2022, Indonesia has added a fee for the once-free visa on arrival. Now all travelers taking up the visa on arrival must pay the IDR 500,000 (33.30 USD) fee and pay this once again to extend by a further 30 days. For many returning travelers, especially those on family holidays from Australia, this has been an unexpected sting on their travel budget. For other travelers, however, the option to obtain a visa on arrival has been a blessing.

Bali is becoming increasingly popular with Indian tourists, and it is the visa on arrival that is helping to sway their decision-making when it comes to where to travel. In an interview with The Straits Times, a honeymoon couple from Mumbai told reporters that despite the high airfare from Mumbai to Kuala Lumpur and from Kuala Lumpur to Denpasar, the visa on arrival in Indonesia cost just a fraction of what a visa application process would cost if they wanted to go to Europe, North America, or Australia.

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Honeymoon Dinner Set Up On Bali Beach.

Anand Kumar, 34, told reporters how he and his new wife had decided on Bali as the destination for their honeymoon. He said, “We wanted something different for our honeymoon, and we had already been to Thailand. We had to decide where to go based on where we could get a visa”. Even with a layover in Malaysia, the cost of flights and visas for their trip to Bali was far more affordable than in Europe or even the Pacific Islands.

Tourism leaders in Bali are calling on the airlines and Ministry for Transport to launch direct flights from India to Denpasar. In mid-December 2022, the Regional Leadership Council (DPD) of the Association of Indonesia Tours and Travel Agencies (ASITA) made statements to urge the government to establish better transport routes between Bali and India.

The chairman of ASITA, I Putu Winastra, told reports “Yes, that’s why ASITA Bali pushed for the realization of a direct flight from India to Bali. Our thinking is that the desire of the Indian people to travel is quite high. Even if there were direct flights to Bali, maybe the number of Indian tourists visiting Bali would be far greater than the current number”.


The easy visa-on-arrival setup in Indonesia, as well as affordable accommodation and experiences and the help of social media, are all helping make Bali the destination of choice for travelers from India. Between January and November 2022, Indonesia as a whole received 4,580,000 international travelers, 3.8% of which were from India.

As tourism agencies in Bali look towards creating promotions for tourists from China, the potential for the impact the Indian market can have on the island is not to be overlooked. As the Chairman of the Bali Tourism Agency explained, “even though there aren’t any direct flights from India to Bali yet…the potential is real”.


Wedding tourism and the Indian travel market is an area where Bali would be wise to focus its attention. In September 2022 Minister for Tourism and Creative Economies told the press that he wants to promote Bali as a world-class wedding destination. He said, ‘Bali, as a wedding destination, stimulates the local economy [encouraging] wedding organizers, music, accompanying bands, and many more that will benefit from the increase in the number of weddings’.


In an interview, the owner of the popular Gateway of India restaurant in Seminyak and Sanur, Vikram Kalra, told reporters that his businesses would regularly cater for huge weddings before the pandemic. Kalra said weddings with more than 300 guests would be hosted at the restaurant with ease but that during the pandemic, dozens of couples had to cancel their plans.

He confirmed that for the year ahead, bookings are increasing, and existing bookings have growing guest lists. He said, “We are starting to see some recovery in demand for weddings. I am increasingly optimistic.”

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Thursday 19th of January 2023

The visa extension for 60 days is still a pain. We had our 60 days visa organized in the Netherlands and still need to visit immigration 3 times to provide the same info as in the original application before getting granted another 30 days. Besides the costs (in total €300) it takes 3 trips/ days out of your vacation. I am sure that the gouvernement had good reasons to implement these rules but for a retired person it is so difficult that we limit our stay next time to 30 days.


Thursday 19th of January 2023

The visa on arrival has put a financial burden on Australian families traveling to Bali. If you do not have the means to travel abroad then stay home. Then how much does an Australian earn seriously?? Many other nationalities from the Western world are further away than Australia is from Bali.

The cost for a visa on arrival is 500,000 IDR Rp that equals to $ 47.74 AUD, $ 33.05 USD, 44.60 CAD, 30.57 Euro, 26.77 GBP, 4,263.63 JYP and 2,691 Indian Rupee.

Is it too much to ask to pay to enter a sovereign nation, the fees to make up for lost revenue during the pandemic. Sooner or later the visa on arrival will be abolished again. It's not set in stone people!

For example, Indonesian travelers to Australia have to pay 3 times more for a visa application. Put yourself in their shoes. Indonesians can still pay the visa and enjoy the holiday abroad without a hitch.

The visa on arrival facility without cumbersome documents is a welcoming sight for Indian citizens who's passport has the weakest link to travel. For example, Indians face up to 3 year wait times for US tourist visas. Thailand and Singapore still impose visa on arrival for several countries including Indian citizens. Supported documents are needed.

There are countries on the visa arrival that needs a closer review since few nationalities may violate visa terms in Indonesia. A visa is a privilege NOT a right. It does not matter for which country that reasoning is universal.


Wednesday 25th of January 2023

@Paul Morris, in the past three years, you have been stalking

I write issues and solution that make sense but the truth somehow rubbed people the wrong shoulder because they are prejudiced and biased. Anyone has every reason to be upset but it's rather more of a complaint. Attack everyone? Seriously another generalization don't you think?

Anti-vaxxers and trumpism that have dominated in the last 3 years with writing nonsense on here simply because either they do not believe in vaccines or angry because of the rigid covid policy rules by a sovereign nation. It was a pandemic people!! Many are left hanging outside Indonesia that has prompted people to voice their immature and biased opinions.

Paul Morris

Tuesday 24th of January 2023

@Randy, First things first I am NO trumpist he is all yours and you deserve him. It looks to me that you’re getting Artificial Intelligence to give your replies as they are becoming increasingly more and more incoherent and just plain stupid. Who the hell eats Raman and Campbells soup daily in Australia I know plenty of pensioners and they don’t eat that crap on a daily basis.😂😂😂😂


Tuesday 24th of January 2023

@Paul Morris, who says it is an attack? Issues during the pandemic is clearly understood. There is a difference with raising an issue rather than playing the desperate victim because things just do not your way. If you cannot read between the lines, I suggest you get off your high horse.

You got that right you sheet in my cereals.


Monday 23rd of January 2023

@Vicki, Nobody took a sheet in my cereals each morning. Thank you for asking though. Waking up each morning feeling entitled like some of you people has never occured in my mind.

Furthermore my friends keep telling me to stop reading the bull sheet that is written on here from people who's main objective is to be a desperate victim who did not receive the level of satisfaction out of Indonesia. But I enjoyed the news out of Bali and the comments that make my day more laughable.

Oh yeah, a family of 4 or 5 visiting Disneyland park in Anaheim, California is way more expensive than a family vacation in Bali. Just saying...


Monday 23rd of January 2023

@Paul Morris, that's all you got, more empty attacks!! You sound more like a trumpist.

I do have a personal connection with the Indonesian people, good, challenging and bad but mostly very good.

Regardless of my ethnicity and place of birth that isn't here, I tried NOT to be in my shoes but rather think in their shoes. A process of assimilation that involves taking the traits of the dominant culture to such a degree that becomes socially indistinguishable.

I have ran into a couple of migrant foreigners who have settled and living in Indonesia for many years and still have not grasped the basics (language) which is inexcusable!!

There is nothing wrong for people to make an opinion on here. It's more of a desperation to be the victim. A complaint rather than a solution to the problem. One damn reason foreigners choose to emigrate here to live reasonably cheap within their means during their retirement days.

A retired Australian has said to a local friend that living on his meager pension per month in Australia has become impossible. Daily ration of ramen and campbell soup to save up to pay for rent. He is happier in Bali where his meager monthly pension can go further to live cheap, comfortably and have a little spending money.

Karen North

Thursday 19th of January 2023

VOA was always available to buy, and then to extend, to get 60 days. Now it is talked up as being wonderful when in fact it is an added expense to come to Bali. A family of 4 now has an added $200 to their holiday. As for a KITAS, you must now first buy a Business visa B211a, then revert to a KITAS. This is adding about $1000 to even start the retirement process. Since covid all immigration is difficult and expensive.


Friday 20th of January 2023

@Karen North, Paying USD 33.05 may help Indonesia (for lost revenue) for which neither of my American friends have any objections to return to Bali for a summer holiday. We have a more understanding than others who keep complaining about a visa on arrival and who are closer to Bali than the rest of us. Sigh.

Elizabeth Hannah

Thursday 19th of January 2023

I live in North Queensland Australia. Before covid, I could fly to Bali stay for a few days then fly to Vietnam or Thailand. No visa costs. A couple of months ago I paid my 500000 idr to enter Bali stayed for three nights then left for Thailand. After five days I returned to Bali. Although my trip to and from Thailand was within the thirty day visa period, I had to pay another 500000 idr for a second entry visa. I'm going to Bali next week when I need to pay another 500000 idr. This will be 5 times 500000 idr for my four trips in less than a year. Who benefits from these costs? Not Australian citizens.


Wednesday 25th of January 2023

@Yuoku, When was your last time in Bali before barking?? A decade ago maybe? Sidewalks are being implemented as far as South of the airport toward popular places like Jimbaran and Ungasan. A freeway over the water cutting time to Sanur, Nusa Dua and the rest. The International terminal has been revamped several years ago. Those are what's very obvious.

Of course it is not the tourists responsibility but people are still coming and wanting more out of it. You can't have your cake and eat it too you know.


Tuesday 24th of January 2023

@Yuoku, this is a guy who thinks that there isn't an English version of the Indonesian traffic rules but will bark because it lacks one. If you did your research online, there is one. Sigh.

You certainly do not get about tourism do you? If there are no tourists to contribute for improvements or what have you then many tourist spots around the world will collapse. You can't have your cake and eat it too. What do you think that you have pay to get into the Louvres or the Eiffel tower for example...

You are like those who want to to play the desperate victim when things do not go your way.

Well you know what you are not as smart as you think.

Paul Morris

Tuesday 24th of January 2023

@Yuoku, Absolutely agree with you😂😂


Monday 23rd of January 2023

@Randy, how much money do you think people have? $50 each time for entry.. If can't pay, stay home?? And who's problem is the 'lost revenue'?? Lost for who? Entire planet had pandemic, yet somehow you think that tourists owe money for Bali and Balinese?? And what infrastructure improvement are you talking about? There is 0 improvement to most of the infrastructure. It's not the responsibility of tourists to upkeep. Stop writing your incoherent nonsense so often.


Friday 20th of January 2023

@Elizabeth Hannah, You do not have a weak passport like Indian citizens who use the visa on arrival as an advantage to avoid cumbersome paper work to enter a country. So what's the big deal...

If you cannot afford AUD 47.74 then stay home. No nationalities benefit from these costs, the cost is to make up for lost revenue so all of us can enjoy a better Bali. Have you ever thought of that...the tax money can bring forward to build more infrastructures. Three years of covid and lock downs meant 3 lost years for improvement.

Wayan Bo

Thursday 19th of January 2023

🇮🇱Missing Israel on VOA list❓❗️