For many years, Australians visiting Bali and other Indonesian destinations have needed to pay for a visa. This added USD35 (around $47) to the cost of every visit. But after years of discussions and speculation, this visa fee was finally dropped last week. Australians are now able to enter the country without a visa for up to 30 days.
Our members are delighted about the announcement. Not only has travel to Indonesia become cheaper, but Australians will also now avoid the long queues for a visa on arrival.
A holiday in Bali just got nearly $200 cheaper for a family of 4.
There have been some mixed experiences reported, with some travellers having still been charged the visa fee over the past few weeks. But there have also been numerous “success” stories.
Yes, I have had a few friends going through today and not having to pay the VOA. Finally!!
The Indonesian government originally promised to remove the visa fee for Australians in late 2014. However, Australia was later removed from a list of around 30 countries – including New Zealand, USA and the UK – for which visa-free entry was granted from the beginning of 2015. After further negotiations, it appears that Australia has now finally been added to the long list of visa-free countries.
Around one million Australians visit Bali every year. With travel now easier and cheaper than ever, this number is expected to grow even further into the future. Although the Indonesian government will lose some revenue as a result of this change, it is hoped that the resultant increase in tourism will be beneficial to the Indonesian tourism operators in the long run. One member is unconvinced, but is happy with the news nonetheless.
I’m happy. But I’ve got to say I find it a strange move by the Indonesian government. They will gain very little extra visitors (I imagine), but lose a shedload of money!
Flights from some Australian cities to Bali can cost as little as $200 return. With the removal of the visa requirement, a short holiday in Indonesia is now an even more attractive proposition.
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