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Visa Policy Postponement Earns Praise

Bali Tourism Board Applauds Decision Indefinitely Delaying End to Visa-On-Arrival Policy.

Bali News:
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Putu Agus Antara, the Chairman of the Bali Tourism Board(BTB), has warmly applauded the indefinite delay announced for the planned October implementation of a Presidential Decree that would have fundamentally changed the current facility of visa-free-on-arrival for the nationals of 48 countries. Quoted in the Indonesian-language Bali Post, Antara said, "this development offers proof of the cooperation that exists between the representatives of the tourism industry and the government."

Bali managed to organize a political lobby in opposing the proposed change in visa policy, which included participation by other provinces of Indonesia whose tourism sectors were also threatened by the revocation of the current visa facility.

Antara heaped strong praise upon Bali's Governor, who took an active role in making the "aspirations" of Bali's tourism sector known to the central government in Jakarta. The Governor, Dewa Made Beratha, formally asked Indonesia's Minister of Justice and Human Rights, Yusril Ihza Mahendra, to delay the implementation of the Presidential Decree until tourism conditions improve, asking that the cost of any visa fee eventually imposed by the Government should not exceed US$ 18.

The Minister of Justice and Human Rights issued an instruction dated May 20, 2003, postponing indefinitely the projected October 1 change in the visa-free-on-arrival facility while the Government decides precisely which countries will continue to enjoy the current facility.

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