Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy has proposed issuing free entry visas to travelers from 20 countries as an effort to push up tourist visits and bring a multiplier effect on the economy.

"The ministry proposed 20 countries with the highest (number of) foreign tourists, except for those with existing visa exemptions," Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy Sandiaga Salahuddin Uno said in Jakarta on Thursday.

The 20 countries include Australia, China, India, South Korea, the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, the Netherlands, Japan, Russia, Taiwan, New Zealand, Italy, Spain, and two Middle Eastern countries whose names were not disclosed.

Uno said that the provision of free entry visas to the 20 countries is expected to increase foreign tourist visits, which will generate a multiplier effect, boosting domestic consumption, attracting investment, and supporting the development of the digital economy.

"We are targeting quality tourists, especially those with longer stays and higher spending in the local economy," he pointed out.

He said that the free entry visa proposal has been submitted to President Joko Widodo.

"We will finalize the proposal next month and seek the President's direction. Once approved, the immigration department will implement the policy," Uno said.

In line with the proposal, the Ministry of State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) has also proposed 13 priority airports for accommodating foreign tourists, he disclosed.

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Translator: Indra Arief P, Resinta Sulistiyandari
Editor: Anton Santoso
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