The Tourism and Transport Forum Australia (TTF) is calling on the Federal Government to match Indonesia’s decision to scrap the $49 fee on Australian tourists applying for a one month tourist visa.
The Indonesian Government has signalled its intention to remove the visa fee for 79 countries, including Australia, for visitors spending less than a month in the country.
“This is a strong play by the Indonesians to attract more tourists to their shores and Australia should be adopting a similar mentality to encourage more tourists to come and see all that we have to offer,” said Margy Osmond, TTF CEO.
“Indonesia is one of Australia’s closest neighbours with a growing middle class population. Yet it is far down the list, at number 12, by the country of origin for tourists coming to Australia with only 151,000 Indonesians visiting the past 12 months.
“The Indonesian tourism market is worth approximately $10.8 billion a year but Australia is only attracting $500 million of that spending – a paltry 5.5 per cent of the Indonesian market.
“An Indonesian traveller wanting to visit Australia has to hand over $135 for a visitor visa – that is a financial disincentive to visit our country and spend money seeing Australia’s fantastic attractions and natural beauty.
“As we continue to see the Indonesian economy strengthen with the massive growth we expect to see in the Asia-Pacific, that represents a significant tourism market on our very doorstep that we need to do more to cultivate.
“The Indonesians recognise the value of Australians tourists by this decision to abolish the visa fee for one month tourist visas. It’s just common sense that Australia should follow suit in abolishing our disincentive for travellers in Indonesia and beyond to visit our country.”