The introduction of a three-year, multiple-entry Visa for Indonesians to Australia is expected to make significant improvement in business and tourism relations.
Indonesian visitors will be able to apply for the new Visa starting next year, and beginning in 2017, all Indonesian citizens will be able to lodge their visa applications online, according to Financial Review (FR).
Online lodgement is currently under trial through approved agents in Indonesia.
The policy change, FR reports, was announced this week to emphasize Australia’s shift to stronger business links after some tensions over security issues and asylum seekers in Indonesia.
Minister for immigration and border protection Peter Dutton, minister for tourism senator Richard Colbeck and minister for trade and investment Andrew Robb confirmed the new policy on Thursday in Jakarta, reports Travel Weekly.
Dutton said the change “…reflects Australia’s close relationship with Indonesia and is part of the government’s agenda to boost our tourism sector and reduce red tape.”
Tourism Australia managing director John O’Sullivan was encouraged by the announcement of the new Visas.
“Global tourism is a fiercely competitive marketplace and our research shows that, for many travellers considering Australia as a destination, visas arrangements are an important part of the decision-making process,” he said, according to Travel Weekly.
“These changes make the process easier and ensure we remain competitive.”
Mr O’Sullivan also said the three-year multi-entry visa opens the door to repeat visitors, according to FR, and provides a great marketing platform to promote Australia as a destination to travellers who booked late and could now be influenced by targeted campaigns and promotions.
In 2014, there were over 150,000 Indonesian visitors to Australia, a 6 per cent increase from the year prior. The Indonesian visitors contributed $600 million overall to the economy.