APSN Banner

Jokowi defends decision to revoke visa-free policy

Jakarta Globe - June 21, 2023

Bogor – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo said on Wednesday the abrupt decision to repeal the visa-free entry policy has been preceded by careful considerations.

The facility was previously offered to as many as 159 countries since 2016. With the decision, only citizens from 10 members of ASEAN still enjoy the privilege.

"There is an evaluation for sure after we were totally open [to foreign visitors]," the president said during a trip to Gunung Sindur in Bogor.

"We conducted an evaluation of its benefit to the country ... and we learned that there was none. It's a common practice in every country to evaluate their policies," he added.

Justice Minister Yasonna Laoly issued a ministerial decree to end the policy earlier this month, following many reports of unruly behaviors involving foreign tourists in key destinations such as Bali.

Tourism Minister Sandiaga Uno said on Monday that visa restrictions had been actually imposed in the past three years during the Covid-19 pandemic before the government officially lifted the visa-free policy.

"[The visa restriction] brings no impact because as of today the number of foreign visitors has reached 8.5 million," Sandiaga was quoted by news website Detik as saying.

He said the government is focused on "quality visitors" – those who spend longer time and more money in Indonesia.

Source: https://jakartaglobe.id/lifestyle/jokowi-defends-decision-to-revoke-visafree-polic