Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy (Kemenparekraf) has stated that the decision of the Ministry of Law and Human Rights (Kemenkumham) to revoke visa-free entry (BVK) for 159 countries was temporary.

"This policy is temporary, and related parties, including Kemenkumham, will conduct a deeper study on it," said Nia Niscaya, Deputy for Strategic Policy at Kemenparekraf, in a statement received in Jakarta on Tuesday.

She remarked that the government had yet to assess the impacts of the revocation of visa-free entry on tourism activities in Indonesia.

"It is too early to say that this policy will have an impact on reducing the number of tourists. We should wait for at least two or three months to be able to assess the impacts," she pointed out.

Niscaya further affirmed that her ministry was always willing to help and collaborate with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Kemenkumham if they were seeking views and suggestions for evaluating the visa-free entry policy.

She noted that if visa-free entry is reinstated, the program must be implemented reciprocally, given to countries that will provide benefits to Indonesia and pay attention to security aspects.

Earlier, the Ministry of Law and Human Rights decided to provide the visa-free entry facility to only 10 ASEAN countries and Visa on Arrival (VoA) to a total of 92 countries.

The ministry's Director General of Immigration, Silmy Karim, noted that prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Indonesia granted visa-free entry to 169 countries. The facility was revoked after Indonesia was hit by the pandemic.

Karim noted that since 2021 the government has applied the VoA in exchange for the BVK.

Until now, the government continues to gradually increase the number of countries subject to the VoA, and this year, six countries have been added to the list, he noted.

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Translator: Sinta Ambarwati, Tegar Nurfitra
Editor: Anton Santoso
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