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Indonesia to remove countries with few visitors from free-visa list

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14 April 2017

JAKARTA (The Jakarta Post/ANN) - Over 30 states sent few visitors to Indonesia in 2016, Afghanistan sent nine and North Korea 23.

Indonesia will cancel granting free visas to 35 countries with fewest visitors coming to the country.

The government's ongoing evaluation of its policy granting free tourist visas to citizens from 169 nations might affect those countries that sent the fewest number of visitors to Indonesia in recent years.

According to data the immigration authority shared with The Jakarta Post, 35 states sent few visitors to Indonesia. For example, in 2016 Afghanistan only sent nine and North Korea 23.

According to the data, several countries, such as the Aland Islands, Aruba, Congo and Liberia, only sent one each last year.

“The number of tourists is just one of the indicators [used to review the free-visa policy],” a spokesman of the ministry's Directorate General of Immigration, Agung Sampurno, told the Post on Tuesday.

Other indicators used are national security issues and public perception, he added.

Immigration Ministry director general Ronny F. Sompie recently said that to review the system, cooperation is needed between the relevant institutions and ministries.

“This policy evaluation must be done comprehensively and synergically; we cannot do it alone,” Ronny said.

The government is evaluating the benefits of the free-visa policy that has been in effect since 2015, since the country stands to potentially lose about 1 trillion rupiah (US$75.4 million) in non-tax revenues from it.

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