Indonesia aims to reap $1.3 billion from visa policy

Tourists at the Bali Ngurah Rai International Airport in Nusa Dua, Bali.

The government expects to collect US$1 billion (S$1.3 billion) in additional revenue from the visa-free services offered to tourists from 45 countries, a senior minister has said.

"By implementing the visa-free policy, we aim to increase the number of foreign tourist arrivals, which will contribute US$1 billion to foreign exchange reserves," Coordinating Maritime Affairs Minister Indroyono Soesilo said during a meeting on the visa-free facilities as quoted by Antara.

Indroyono said the new policy would have a positive impact on the people and open up job opportunities in tourist destinations in the country.

"It is the people who will directly receive the foreign exchange income. So they need to be made aware and prepare to produce souvenirs or open restaurants. They also need to improve hospitality, hygiene and sanitation," he said.

Indroyono said that to provide security for tourists, acting National Police chief Comr. Gen. Badrodin Haiti, had agreed to deploy more tourism police personnel.

The government recently decided to provide visa-free facilities to foreigners on short visits from 30 countries, increasing the number of visa-free visit recipients to 45.