Visa on Arrival Policy in Riau Islands for Foreign Tourists Nearing Finalization

Visa on Arrival Policy in Riau Islands for Foreign Tourists Nearing Finalization
Visa on Arrival Policy in Riau Islands for Foreign Tourists Nearing Finalization

Exciting developments are on the horizon for international tourists planning to visit the Riau Islands (Kepulauan Riau). The Visa on Arrival (VoA) policy in Riau Islands, tailored specifically for this region, is nearing its finalization stage, promising easier access for travelers. This new policy will offer two distinct durations: a 30-day stay and a shorter seven-day stay.

Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy, Sandiaga Salahuddin Uno, announced that the VoA policy, including for Batam, will soon be ratified through a Presidential Regulation (Perpres).

“After a prolonged effort, I signed the final formulation about two weeks ago. This will be officially enacted through a Presidential Regulation, granting more freedom for expatriates in Singapore and incoming tourists,” Sandiaga revealed in a written statement on Monday (1/7/2024).

Under the new VoA scheme, tourists can choose between a 30-day visa for Rp 500,000 or a seven-day visa for Rp 100,000. Sandiaga explained, “The final outcome we aim for is a short-term visa priced at around 10 US dollars, as proposed by the region. If this visa is not considered, we have a secondary plan as an alternative.”

Governor of the Riau Islands, Anshar Ahmad, commended the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy’s efforts. “This initiative boosts the morale of our friends in the tourism sector in Kepri, encouraging them to be more spirited,” Anshar commented.

Read also: Indonesia Aims to Attract 1.3 Million Chinese Tourists in 2024 with “Bali Experiences”

The Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy has ambitious goals for the Riau Islands, aiming for the region to contribute 25 percent of the total international tourist arrivals in Indonesia for 2024. The national target is set between 9.5 million to 14.3 million foreign visitors.

Recent data from the Central Statistics Agency of the Riau Islands, reported by Travel, indicates a promising trend. From January to April 2024, the Riau Islands saw 480,225 international tourist arrivals, marking a 5.14 percent increase compared to 456,740 arrivals during the same period in 2023. The top three countries of origin for tourists entering through the Riau Islands were Singapore (238,832 visits), Malaysia (81,048 visits), and China (25,338 visits).

Sandiaga highlighted that the spending by international tourists is expected to rise significantly. “Before the pandemic, tourists typically spent around US$900 per person. Now, that amount has increased to approximately US$1,600 per person,” he noted. “We anticipate not only more tourists but also visitors who stay longer and spend more on the local economy,” Sandiaga concluded.

This upcoming Visa on Arrival policy in Riau Islands is a strategic move to enhance Indonesia’s appeal to global tourists, making travel more accessible and boosting the local economy through increased tourism.