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Playing by Chinese Rules

Chinese Bureaucrats Accused of Thwarting Growth in PRC Arrivals to Bali

(1/27/2012) Growth in Chinese tourist arrivals to Bali is being stunted by a legal and bureaucratic impasse.

The Chinese government will apparently not give its citizens permission to visit Bali and the rest of Indonesia unless they can first present a visa. Such a requirement, however, is at odds with the current law in Indonesia which allows PRC passport holders the right to obtain a 30-day visa-on-arrival upon touchdown in Indonesia after paying a US$25 fee.

The Chinese traveler wishing to visit Indonesia is in a "Catch 22" scenario. Despite their ability to show Chinese officials a round-trip ticket back to Bali and demonstrate that a visa can be issued upon arrival in Indonesia, the mainland Chinese bureaucrats are holding firm on their demand that an Indonesian visa must be shown before departure.

The Indonesian Tourist Promotion Board (BPPI) has lobbied Indonesia's President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to put the visa impasse issue on his agenda of discussion topics during a coming visit to the PRC.

The Indonesia government has placed great stake in the ability to grow the number of Chinese visitors to Indonesia, especially during traditional travel periods such as Chinese New Years.