The general chairman of the Association of Indonesian Tourism Industries (GIPI), Didien Junaedy, said here on Saturday (Feb. 4) that the adoption of the policy is essential to boost tourism in the country.
He said that the policy has been proven to significantly increase the arrival of foreign tourists in their countries.
Through Presidential Regulation Number 21, 2016, the Indonesian government has provided visa-free facility to visitors from 169 countries for a short visit.
The regulation was produced in March 2, 2016, and so it is not yet a year old. According to me, the evaluation should be done after two years of its implementation," he said, adding that it would take several months to familiarize.
Junaedy added that tourism industrialists grouped in GIPI have seen and felt the positive impacts of the policy.
He stated that consistency in the implementation of the policy would be needed with regard to building public trust in foreign countries.
Supervision on the other hand, however, is also needed to minimize possible violations of the regulation, he noted.
"GIPI has planned to gather tourism industrialists eight times in the first semester this year to strengthen its support for the implementation of the Presidential Regulation Number 21," he asserted.
Junaedy admitted that there had also been negative excesses coming from the policy, such as visa overstay problem and illegal worker problems.
"Their number however is relatively small compared to millions of foreign tourists visiting Indonesia legally, like in other countries that implement the same policy," he added.
He also said that the negative impacts of the policy must be overcome, and solution to the problems must be found through joint efforts.
"We must not blame each other over trivial problems but must cooperate to overcome them," he stated.
He said that the visa-free policy has so far been one of the strong factors that has played a major role in meeting the target of foreign tourist arrivals, which was set at 15 million this year and 20 million by 2019.
(Reported by Hanni Sofia Soepardi/Uu.H-YH/INE/KR-BSR/A014)