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The Indonesian Tourism Ministry has announced plans to eliminate the US$35 visa-on-arrival fee for citizens of Australia, China, Japan, South Korea, and Russia effective January 2015.

Tourism Minister Arief Yahya, who announced the plans after a ministerial meeting, said that the plan to offer free visas to tourists from those five countries is part of a larger plan to boost tourist arrivals and foreign exchange earnings.

“These countries are our main foreign tourist targets” Arief told reporters Wednesday, “…we have to improve the visa service.”

The Tourism Ministry is reportedly targeting an increase of 400-500 thousand tourist arrivals and a US$11.3 million increase in tourism foreign exchange earnings for next year and hope that by streamlining the visa process for Indonesia’s top tourism sources it will achieve these goals.

Visitors from outside of these countries will still be required to obtain a visa on arrival and pay the US$35 fee.

Minister Yahya also announced that effective January 2015, the process by which yachts and cruise ships obtain visitor permits and docking licenses will also be streamlined and will be consolidated into a one-stop online service.

Sources: Detik News: Gebrakan Menteri Arief Yahya, Bebas Visa Untuk Turis 5 Negara
 Detik News: Pemerintah Juga Akan Tingkatkan Pelayanan Visa untuk Turis Bali considers waiving visa fees for Australians


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