In a letter dated April 15, 2003, Putu Agus Antara, Chairman of the Bali Tourism Board (BTB) wrote to Indonesia's Minister of Justice and Human Rights, Yusril Ihza Mahendra, asking that the implementation of the Presidential Decision changing the tourist visa regulations be postponed indefinitely.
Representing the 9 stakeholder organizations that comprise the BTB, Putu Antara said he was writing to the Minister to provide input from his organization's members on their aspirations for national tourism.
In a letter copied to the President, Parliament and a host of other government officials and tourism organizations, BTB underlined to the Minister that;
• The Government had already designated the tourism industry as the 2nd largest producer of foreign exchange for the country and given this sector the goal to increase its total revenues each year.
• That BTB generally supports the Government's policy to control the misuse of tourist visas by shortening the visa-free-on-arrival validity period to 30 days.
• In order to preserve and protect the competitive position of Indonesian tourism, the implementation of the new policy should be delayed until such a time as the national tourism industry has fully recovered.
• The visa-free-on-arrival facility should be retained for major tourism generating countries such as Japan, Australia, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, The Netherlands, and Taiwan.
• The technical implementation and administration of the new visa policy should retain the principles of comfort and efficiency for the tourists affected by the new policy.
Request for a Meeting
The Chairman of the BTB also requested a face-to-face meeting between the Justice Minister and the nine stakeholders of BTB in order to discuss the new visa policy.
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