Boosting Tourism: Indonesia Explores More Visa-Free Entry

Posted by Written by Muhamad Aziz Reading Time: 2 minutes

The Indonesian government is considering expanding its visa-free entry policy to visitors from a further 20 nations as the country aims to increase tourist numbers and boost economic growth.

The following is a list of countries that have been proposed to receive visa exemptions:

  1. Australia;
  2. China;
  3. India;
  4. South Korea;
  5. United States;
  6. United Kingdom;
  7. France;
  8. Germany;
  9. Netherlands;
  10. Japan;
  11. Russia;
  12. Taiwan;
  13. New Zealand;
  14. Italy;
  15. Spain;
  16. UAE;
  17. Saudi Arabia;
  18. Qatar; and
  19. Two announced Middle Eastern nations.

Exempt from this proposal are the nine fellow members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), who already benefit from a mutual visa-free arrangement.

Indonesia’s tourism potential for foreign investors

Indonesia is developing its tourism sector to make a larger contribution to the national GDP. The sector contributed some 3.6 percent of GDP or US$6.7 billion in 2022. For 2023, Indonesia targeted 7.4 million foreign tourists, this number was surpassed in July-August with the government expecting this number to reach 10-12 million by the end of 2023. Before the COVID-19 pandemic struck, the country recorded 16 million foreign arrivals.

For 2024, Indonesia has targeted between 9.5 to 14.3 million foreign arrivals and targeting some 220 trillion rupiah (US$14.1 billion) to GDP.

For foreign investors, Indonesia’s tourism industry offers ample opportunities.

The industry is forecasted to grow at an annual rate of 12.03 percent until 2026, driven by not only foreign tourists but also domestic tourists. Improving infrastructure development and a rising middle class are important factors for the continued increase in domestic tourism. Indonesia recorded 734 million domestic trips in 2022, an increase of almost 20 percent from 2021.

Indonesia’s five new Bali’s

Indonesia’s government is minting five new tourism hubs for international travelers to alleviate the pressure of Bali. Of the 16 million foreign travelers that visited Indonesia, 6.2 million traveled to Bali — the tourism industry now accounts for 80 percent of the island’s economy.

The hubs, initiated in 2021 dubbed the ‘five new Bali’s’, are Borobudur in Central Java province, Labuan Bajo in East Nusa Tenggara province, Lake Toba in North Sumatra province, Mandalika in West Nusa Tenggara province, and Likupang in North Sulawesi province.


In conclusion, Indonesia’s proactive steps to expand its visa-free entry policy to potentially 20 additional countries, along with strategic plans to develop new tourism hubs, underscore a dedicated effort to bolster its tourism sector and enhance economic growth.  

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