Indonesia expects Russia to implement visa-free arrangement on reciprocal basis

Minggu, 22 Februari 2015 13:12 WIB

Visa on Arrival at I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport, Bali. (www.bali-dps.com)
Kuta, Bali (ANTARA News) – The Indonesian government expects Russia to give Indonesians visa-free facilities on a reciprocal basis to ease people-to-people connectivity between two countries, particularly through the tourism sector.

“Free visa negotiation is underway by considering the aspects of reciprocity, advantages and security,” said Foreign Affairs Ministrys acting director of Central and East Europe Directory Ibnu Hadi here on weekend.

In terms of visa-free arrangement on a reciprocal basis, Hadi mentioned that Russia had implemented it with Thailand, “Then why dont they do the same with Indonesia?”

Since early January 2015, Indonesia has officially waived visa requirements for visitors from Australia, China, Japan, South Korea and Russia wishing to travel to the country.

Hadi said Russia is among the countries which have the potential to become one of the major markets for the Indonesian tourism.

According to data from the Tourism Ministry, Russia is one of the top twenty sources of tourist arrivals in Indonesia.

In 2013, a total of 93,622 Russian nationals visited Indonesia, and in 2014 the number decreased to 88,775.

The decrease, Hadi said, was caused by some factors, such as no direct flight from Indonesia to Russia and the sluggish Russian economy which caused Rubel currency to depreciate against the US dollar.

The Russian honorary consular based in Denpasar, Bali, Chairul Nuku Hamka, explained that almost 72 thousand Russian tourists visited Bali Island in 2014.

“On average about four to five thousand Russian tourists visit Bali per month,” he said.

In 2015, the Indonesian government plans to cooperate with Russia, China, Japan, South Korea, and Australia in implementing visa-free arrangement on a reciprocal basis.

The government has set itself the target of raising the number of tourist arrivals to 20 million by 2019 through the visa-free arrangement.

However, Ibnu Hadi said not all states used reciprocity in implementing free visa policy and Australia is one of the examples.

Nationally, Indonesia recorded 9,435,411 tourist arrivals in 2014, up 7.2 percent from 8,802,129 recorded in 2013.

Promoting tourism abroad is part of Indonesian representatives economic diplomatic efforts, as proclaimed by President Joko Widodo (Jokowi).

Indonesia is currently providing visas on arrival for tourists from Australia, China, Japan, South Korea and Russia.
 (Uu.A060/S012)

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