Bali won’t reinstate visa-free travel for Aussies, yet

Bali, Indonesia- 16 Oct, 2019: Locals and tourists on crowded Kuta Beach in Bali a popular travel destination.
Edited by Travel Weekly

    The Indonesian government has confirmed it will not reinstate visa-free travel for Bali-goers amid ongoing instances of poor behaviour by foreigners.

    A slew of rude and disrespectful acts from visitors (including some filming a porno on top of a sacred mountain) has become quite the topic on Indonesian social media where videos of bad tourist behaviour are frequently uploaded.

    Previously, Aussies could enter Indonesia visa-free for 30 days, but Indonesians heading to Australia had to pay a $140 application fee for an Australian tourist visa and fill out a 17-page survey with an array of questions. One of which was “Have you ever committed an act of genocide?”

    The Indonesian government is only allowing visitors from fellow ASEAN nations to visit visa free, while travellers from 92 countries, including Australia, will have to apply for a $50 visa-on-arrival or get one online.

    Indonesia’s immigration director-general Silmy Karim said that the country could consider reinstating visa-free travel on a country-by-country basis, depending on if the country will extend the same right to Indonesian travellers.

    “If the visa-free policy is revived, we will have to justify it by reviewing these three criteria; a reciprocal aspect, benefits to Indonesia and security considerations,” Karim said.

    Indonesia’s tourism minister said the government learnt from the pandemic that it was not necessary to offer a visa-free system to attract tourists.

    “There has been no significant impact on tourism. As of today, we have received 8.5 million foreign visits (this year), even without (visa-free) from these 159 countries,” he said.

    “We have not reactivated the visa-free regime. It will be replaced with a better policy.”

    The Balinese government recently handed out a list of ‘dos and don’ts’ for incoming tourists. These include showing respect for local religious symbols, dressing modestly and behaving politely.

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