London's Sunday Telegraph in its June 9, 2002 edition, underlined the widespread concern about the imposition of a visa fee for visitors to Indonesia, now under consideration by the Central Government in Jakarta.
Warning that the cost of a holiday to Indonesia "will rise by up to GBP 150 for a typical family" if the proposed visa fee is introduced, the article also outlined the increasingly high cost of Indonesian travel where departure taxes have recently undergone a dramatic increase.
The article quoted an official from Magic of the Orient, a leading wholesaler of Asian travel in the U.K., who said, "this is just another reason not to go there. Booking have already suffered following September 11, so this is the last thing Indonesia needs."
Asiaworld, another major player in Asian-bound travel, added, "We're not happy, but we'll have to pass it on to the Customers."
Even the representatives of Indonesia's national air carrier, Garuda are reportedly "unimpressed" with the proposed fee commenting "we're trying to build up tourism, not make it more difficult."
Changes Not Yet Final
While changes in the immigration visa policy have been widely hinted at in the Indonesia press, no formal announcement has been made on what changes will be introduced and the dates of their implementation. Reports are circulating, however, suggesting a US$50 per passenger "visa fee" will soon be imposed upon arrival in Indonesia and that the length of stay granted to visitors will be shortened from the current 60 day period to a shorter period of 30 days.
Bali Update #295
Bali Update Edition #295 analyzed the possible impact of the proposed visa policy changes on foreign exchange earnings. That article is available via the link included in this story.
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