Mon, 21 Jan 2008
Ministry of Culture and Tourism Seeks Inter-Departmental Support in Order to Achieve 7 Million Foreign Visitors in 2008.

(1/19/2008) Travel Trade Gazette's (TTG) Mimi Hudoyo reports that the Indonesian Department of Culture and Tourism is seeking agreement to change current visa regulations to permit visa-free short visits from 10 countries.

If the proposal submitted to the Ministry of Law and Human Rights is successful, the citizens of Australia, China, Japan, South Korea, India, U.K., Germany, France, the Netherlands and Russia would be able to undertake holiday visits without having to purchase either a 7 or 30-day visa at the Indonesian port of entry as required under the visa-on-arrival policy now in place. Currently, 63 countries are eligible to pay a fee of US$10 for a 7-day visa or US$25 for a 30-day visa.

According to TTG, the move by the Ministry is in support of the goal to bring 7 million foreign tourists to Indonesia in 2008. "Other efforts include increasing immigration counters at Soekarno-Hatta Jakarta and Ngurah Rai Bali airports; encouraging airlines, both domestic and international, to open or increase services to tourist detonations; and placing multilingual information boards (Arabic, Japanese and Mandarin other than English and Bahasa Indonesia) in the two major airports," reports TTG.


Mon, 21 Jan 2008
From: JakChat
Comment by Roy's hair
What a revolutionary new idea


Mon, 21 Jan 2008
From: JakChat
Comment by chewwyUK
oh it looks so good on paper .... Lets hope the red tape men don't stand in the way. Tourism is the best way this country can ensure at least some re-distribution of wealth. Open things up, encourage the "eco-tourists" and backpackers and get them buying loads of tat in remote parts of Indonesia.


Mon, 21 Jan 2008
From: JakChat
Comment by Tut Tut
I like the idea of eco-tourism. There are so many beautiful spots in this country that are still relatively untouched. Now, if only the govt can ensure regional stability first so people feel safe travelling to those remote areas.


Mon, 21 Jan 2008
From: JakChat
Comment by Dilli
 Quote:
tourist detonations


Oh dear, how unfortunate! Bali at its best again!


Tue, 22 Jan 2008
From: JakChat
Comment by Magpie
 Originally Posted By: KuKuKaChu
"Other efforts include increasing immigration counters at Soekarno-Hatta Jakarta and Ngurah Rai Bali airports;

sceptical at it may seem, but does more immigration officers possibly mean more grizzly faced immigration officers looking for bribes?


Tue, 22 Jan 2008
From: JakChat
Comment by Magpie
Questionable over-stay fines
Opinion News - Monday, January 21, 2008

I together with my family have returned to Singapore from a wonderful trip to West Sumatra. We are a German family residing in Singapore for the last seven years. It was our first trip to West Sumatra. We were eight people: my husband and I, our four children aged 9, 7, 5 and 5, and my parents, who were visiting us from Germany.

We really enjoyed our trip and thought that the landscape, the nature, the culture, the food, the weather and the people were fantastic -- rarely have we seen such hospitality anywhere in the world!

There was only one thing that marred our trip: when we arrived for our one-week stay, we asked an immigration officer upon our arrival in Padang if we could apply for a seven-day visa and he said yes. However, when we got back, immigration insisted we had overstayed by one day and had to pay a Rp 200,000 penalty per person (Rp 1,600,000 in total).

The immigration officers were not willing to entertain our complaint that we had specifically asked this question and had received a specific answer from his colleague that a seven-day visa was fine for our trip.

After a long discussion, we were worried we would miss the plane and we had no choice than to agree to pay the fine. Upon our request we received the attached receipt from the immigration officer.

Since the receipt showed no official reference (unlike the original visa receipt) and due to the fact that nothing about "overstaying" was stamped into our passports either, we felt that this was not at all an official fee and left the country with the sour feeling of having been tricked.

We were quite upset about this, especially because the experience stood in such a big contrast to all the friendly West Sumatran people that we met, who really did their best to show us a great picture of their country.

By coincidence there were two other French families who had taken the same flights as we did. They had the same problem with being accused of overstaying and vowed never to come back to Indonesia again!

When we told this story to friends at home we heard: "That's the way it is in Indonesia, there is nothing that can be done about it." We refuse to believe this and we hope you can do something with this information to help change this situation, in everyone's best interest.

GERMA VON HEYDEBRECK-STRICKER
Singapore

http://www.thejakartapost.com/detaileditorial.asp?fileid=20080121.F06&irec=5


Tue, 22 Jan 2008
From: JakChat
Comment by KuKuKaChu
 Originally Posted By: Magpie
 Originally Posted By: KuKuKaChu
"Other efforts include increasing immigration counters at Soekarno-Hatta Jakarta and Ngurah Rai Bali airports;

sceptical at it may seem, but does more immigration officers possibly mean more grizzly faced immigration officers looking for bribes?

possibly. and because there's more of them, with the same portion of 'mangsa', they'll be hungrier than usual.


Tue, 22 Jan 2008
From: JakChat
Comment by Roy's hair
Heh heh. Immigration Nazis ay? "I don't make the rules Sir...I merely enforce them without initiative, flexibility or humanity"


Tue, 22 Jan 2008
From: JakChat
Comment by Dilli
And an outstretched hand!



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