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Visa Update

Tourism Spokesman Urges Calm About Rumored Changes in Visa Policy and He Outlines Future Changes.

(3/25/2002) Setyanto P. Santosa, the Chief of the Nation's Tourism and Culture Development Board, urged calm in comments made in a press conference held at the Internationale Tourismus Börse in Berlin on Monday, March 18, 2002 and reported in Jakarta's Bisnis Indonesia.

"The Visa on Arrival policy has yet to be decided, but any new policy will not harm the national tourism industry," he assured during the Berlin press conference. Setyanto then outlined the three policy considerations facing the government in dealing with the visa issue. First, the Government might retain the current visa-free short stay facility extended to a number of countries but reduce the validity period from the current 60 days to become 15 or 30 days. Secondly, any introduction of new "visa on arrival" programs must be supported by the introduction of a more satisfactory immigration service counter. And, thirdly, the Government continues to consider every input from the tourism sector in order to ensure that any new policy does not detract from efforts to increase the number of visitors to Indonesia.

On the subject of a proposed visa fee, Setyanto told the press, "actually, if tourists are charged a visa fee of $50 that is not a problem, providing the quality of the service they receive is excellent."