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Call to Extend Special Visa Facility

Tourism Industry Call on Government to Extend "Collective" Visa on Arrival Facility for Additional Two Months.

Bali News:
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Representatives of Indonesia's tourism industry are calling on the Government to extend for another two months a special "collective" visa-on-arrival facility put in place for one month following the December 26 tsunami disaster.

Under the terms of the "collective" visa-on-arrival facility, local travel and tour operators were are able to apply for special dispensation exempting nationals of countries otherwise required to obtain a visa before traveling to Indonesia permitting the purchase of a $25 thirty-day visa-on-arrival upon landing in Indonesia. The special measure was introduced by the Government following the tsunami disaster in order to freely allow tourists redirecting their travel to Indonesia to do so without the inconvenience of applying for permission first from an Indonesian embassy abroad.

The current policy allows the nationals of 11 countries to visit Indonesia without visas and the nationals of 21 other countries do so by purchasing a 30 day non-extendable visa upon landing at any Indonesian gateway. Citizens of all other countries wishing to visit Indonesian are required to apply for a visa at their home country Indonesian Embassy beforehand.

In order to facilitate sudden changes in travel plans the Indonesian Embassy extended the "collective" visa-on-arrival facility was extended to the nationals of all countries providing an Indonesian tour or travel agent made application one day before with the local immigration office. That special facility is scheduleded to end January 31, 2005.

According to immigration officials, only a couple of groups Ė all comprised of Russian travelers Ė have taken advantage of this special facility scheduled to end on January 31, 2005.

The Vice-Chairman of the Indonesian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (ASITA), Rudiana, has called on the Government to extend the special facility for another two months to further facilitate the flow of tourists seeking to change their travel destination in the wake of the December 26, 2004 tragedy.

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