A new online business visa and the ASEAN Travel Corridor Arrangement
(TCA) were the standout topics of the Indonesian Ministry of Tourism and
Creative Economy’s recent webinar “New Visa Policy: Challenges and
Opportunities for Tourism in the New Normal Era: Part 1”.
Achmad Yurianto, senior advisor on technology and globalisation to
the Health Minister, said the government is committed to facilitating
essential travel, including business travel, and the ASEAN TCA
The new e-visa enables business entities, such as hotels, tour
operators and travel agents, to sponsor foreigners to enter Indonesia
for business purposes. A health clearance and return ticket are required
for the 60-day visa, which is extendable. While in Indonesia,
foreigners are permitted to engage in tourism activities, although the
business entity is responsible for their whereabouts at all times.
While the previous business visa application process required the
applicant to be present at an Indonesian embassy or consulate prior to
travelling, the e-visa enables successful applicants to travel directly
to Indonesia. It costs US$50, with a 200,000 rupiah (US$14)
Agus Majid, deputy director for international cooperation at the
Directorate General of Immigration, said “the reopening of Indonesia’s
borders is currently limited to essential business. The government is
assessing the possibilities of opening for tourism, but limiting this to
selected destinations, and [to travellers from] selected countries.”
Majid emphasised that reopening borders is highly political. “At the
technical level we might be able to prepare everything, but the decision
must come from the high level. We are trying to ensure that the
technical level is ready, but the higher level decision is needed.”
To facilitate essential business and diplomatic travel among ASEAN
member states and support economic recovery, ASEAN leaders committed to
establishing the TCA at the 37th ASEAN Summit on 12 November.
The tourism ministry's ASEAN economic cooperation director, Berlianto
Situngkir, said that a digitised platform which is “transparent,
credible and inter-operable” among ASEAN member states will play a
crucial role in the framework’s success.
He explained that while the TCA is currently only for essential
business travel, “it could be extended to the tourism sector”. Situngkir
said that it was the ministry’s “deepest hope” that the TCA “can be in
place as early as possible.”
Indonesia has already signed secure travel arrangements with the
United Arab Emirates, South Korea, China and Singapore, while an
arrangement with Japan is still in the pipeline.
Vinsensius Jemadu, the ministry’s deputy for marketing, said
“Covid-19 has changed everything, but Covid cannot change our spirit to
move on in the tourism industry. Indonesian tourism is ready".