India will soon come under the Free Visa on Arrival program as per the preparations made by the Indonesian government. Arief Yahya, Indonesia’s Tourism Minister, said, “Currently we are offering Free Visa on Arrival to 43 countries.
In the second phase, we plan to include India and that will happen by January,” He also said, “India is an important market for us. So far, since January, we have received 240,000 Indian visitors and we hope to achieve the targeted 270,000 by December”.
Indian and Indonesian Government are working together to arrange direct flights from New Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai to Jakarta. He added, “Shortly our Transportation Minister will visit India to hold talks for direct flights. When this happens we can expect more Indian tourist arrivals”.
I Gde Pitana, Indonesia’s Deputy Minister for Resource Development said, “At present Indonesia is handling the needs of the Indian leisure and holiday market. Once we have direct flights to Jakarta we can explore golf and MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) travel from India. Recently we held a familiarization trip to expose Indian companies to our products”.
Currently, Indonesia is getting 9.5 million visitors annually. For 2019, Indonesia has set the target to 20 million. While by this year the tourism sector contributed 9 percent to the country’s growth, the contribution is expected to increase to 13 percent by the year 2019.
The 39th edition of Pacific Asia Travel Association Travel Mart (PATA) will be held between September 7 and 9, 2016 in Jakarta. For the same, Arief Yahya is working on a high-level delegation that aims to invite and attract Indian tour operators to take part in the event.
“To achieve the 10 million visitors target for 2015, we have initiated many programmes and Free Visa on Arrival is one such move. By the end of next year, we will have covered 93 countries,” said Yahya. He further added, “Also, to tap international tourists, the government is encouraging three great tourist destinations — Bali, Jakarta and Batam”.
When asked about Yuan woes, he completed, “In the last couple of months, Indonesia has grown by 3 per cent against Malaysia’s 8.6 percent and Singapore’s negative growth of 4.2 percent.”