INDONESIA - The government will waive visa requirements for the citizens of several countries in a bid to attract 20 million tourists by 2020.
"Based on the coordination meeting result, there will be five countries; Australia, China, Japan, Russia and South Korea, which are to be granted visa-free access by the government," Coordinating Maritime Affairs Minister Indroyono Soesilo said in Jakarta on Wednesday as quoted by kompas.com.
Through the programme, he said the government expected to see additional 500,000 tourist arrivals in a year.
The government needed to spend around US$11.5 million (S$14.89 million) on the plan. The minister said, however, that with projected additional tourist arrivals and spending potential, the government would receive minimum revenue of $540 million per year, on the assumption that every tourist spent around $1,200 per visit to Indonesia.
In addition, the government plans to facilitate the permit process for yachts and international cruise ships wanting to enter the country's ports.
"We will strengthen the online system set up by the Foreign Ministry," he said, adding that the government had set a target to finalize such permits in a day.
With easier permit issuance, he expected leaders in the regions to promote their regions so that Indonesia could attract many tourists.