The Indonesian Tourism Ministry hopes to double Indian tourist arrivals to 1.2 million in 2024 with additional flights and a proposed visa-free entry scheme.

Last year, Indonesia received 11.7 million tourists from around the world, which was 98 per cent higher compared to 2022. This included 6,10,000 Indian citizens. Indian arrivals in 2023 were slightly lower than the pre-Covid number.

Pre-pandemic, Indonesia offered visa-free access to tourists from 169 countries. Now, the government is planning to reintroduce visa free entry for citizens from twenty countries, including India. “We hope that will materialise soon,” said Ni Made Ayu Marthini, Indonesia’s Deputy Minister for Marketing (Ministry of Tourism and Creative economy).

Flight connectivity is also increasing between the two countries. Last year, IndiGo and Vistara commenced Mumbai-Jakarta and Delhi-Bali flights.

On Tuesday, IndiGo announced daily flights between Bengaluru and Bali from March 29. Air India too is planning a service between Delhi-Jakarta but is yet to finalise details.

Apart from promoting its luxury resorts in Bali for wedding groups and luxury travellers, the tourism ministry is also pitching other lesser known destinations in the country.

“Indians are the second-largest group of foreign tourists in Bali after Australians. At a national level, India is ranked sixth largest inbound source market. Indonesia is made up of 17,000 Islands and we want Indians to travel beyond Bali and explore other destinations in the country too,” said Marthini onthe sidelines of OTM event in Mumbai.

From February, Indonesia began charging a levy on foreign tourists visiting Bali (around ₹800 per person). The fee is being collected to support the protection of Bali’s environment and local culture.

“Currently there is no impact on tourist arrivals in Bali due to the levy,” said R Wisnu Sindhutrisno, director of tourism promotion for Asia and Pacific region.