Indonesia is aiming for 12.7 million foreign tourists by 2019, according to the Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry’s mid-term development plan. The country will also provide visa-free benefits to an additional 47 countries.
Over the past five years, Indonesia’s tourist numbers have increased by 35 percent, according to the ministry. This year, the country expects to welcome 9.5 million tourists. The ministry plans to promote tourism to the Middle East, Southeast Asia and the EU, as well as in India, Australia, China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, the US and Russia.
As of October, the country is also offering free visas to visitors from 47 additional countries, including Australia, increasing the number of those benefitting from the visa-free policy to 92, according to Coordinating Maritime Affairs Minister Rizai Ramli. In April, the government added 30 countries. The move resulted in a 15 percent increase in the number of foreign visitors, compared with the average increase of 4 percent, according to Ramli. The new visa-free travel will only be available at the five international airports in Jakarta, Medan, Bali, Batam and Surabaya. Earnings from the tourism sector are expected to rise to $20 billion from $10 billion a year, and tourism-related jobs should increase from 3 million to 7 million as a result of the policy, according to the minister.