Three government policies for Malaysian tourists to Indonesia

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Indonesian government, through the Ministry of Tourism, has announced three policies in the tourism field, aimed at facilitating Malaysian travelers visit to Indonesia.

"We want to propagate the new policies in the tourism field that encourage Malaysian travelers to come to Indonesia," said Indonesian Minister of Tourism Arief Yahya in Jakarta, as per a press statement received by Antara on Wednesday.

Under these new policies in the tourism field, the number of Immigration Check-in points for Malaysian travelers have been increased.

Furthermore, a new regulation now abolishes the existing regulation on Clearance Approval for Indonesian Territory (CAIT), making it easier for yachts to enter the Indonesian territory through 18 ports in Indonesia.

Finally, the cabotage principle is being abolished to ease Malaysian cruises transit, enabling them to pick up and drop off passengers at five appointed ports in Indonesia.

"We hope that the new policies will increase the sales pitch of Indonesia in the world (making it more attractive destination) when it comes to tourism," Iqbal Alamsjah, Head of Legal and Communications, Ministry of Tourism, told reporters in Kuala Lumpur.

At the same time, the Indonesian government has also issued a short-stay visa-free policy for 90 countries.

Within a few months, the impact of this policy is already showing a positive trend with tourist arrivals increasing by up to 15 percent, compared to last year.

Alamsyah said a foreign yacht can now enter Indonesian territory and address the Custom, Immigration, Quarantine and Port (CIQP) paperwork at 18 ports.

This policy is aimed at increasing the number of visits to Indonesia by up to 6,000 yachts in 2019.

"Indonesia wants to develop its maritime tourism, said Alamsjah.

Ports that will provide easy CIQP documents management are: the port of Sabang (Aceh), the port of Belawan (Medan), Teluk Bayur (Padang), port Nongsa Point Marina (Batam), the port of Bandar Telani Bintan (Tanjung Pandan) and Sunda Kelapa Harbor and Marina Ancol (Jakarta).

Moreover, the Port of Benoa (Bali), the port of Tenau (Kupang), the port of Kumai (City K. West), the port Tarakan (Tarakan), the port of Nunukan (Bulungan), Bitung (Bitung), the port of Ambon (Ambon), the port of Saumlaki (Saumlaki ), the port of Tual (Tual), the port of Sorong (Sorong) and the port of Biak (Biak).

The Indonesian government has abolished the principle of cabotage rules that restricted the right to operate commercially in Indonesia exclusively to Indonesian flagged transport companies.

"Now, foreign-flagged cruise ships can also pick up and drop off passengers at five selected ports in Indonesia," said Alamsjah.

The five ports are the ports of Tanjung Priok (Jakarta), Tanjung Perak (Surabaya), Belawan (field), Soekarno-Hatta (Makassar) and Benoa Harbour in Bali.

The Indonesian government also facilitates Malaysian travelers who want to travel back and forth to Indonesia by increasing the number of Immigration Check-in Posts at five airports and nine ports and Immigration Check-out Posts at 19 airports and 29 seaports besides two check-out posts on land.

Based on data from the Indonesian Ministry of Tourism, the number of foreign tourist arrivals to Indonesia in January-August 2015 grew by nearly three percent over the same period in 2014.(*)