For those Australian’s heading off to Indonesia and in this case the Gili Islands we have some fantastic news; you no longer have to pay a visa entry fee.
This is not a joke and it is actually true and I can say this officially as a writer for the Gili Islands Accommodation website as I landed in Denpasar, Bali a week ago and to my surprise did not have to pay the usual and very painful A$50. I went straight o the counter with the money in my hand and was prepared to give it up and the girl just waived me through. How good is this!
Just imaging you are heading off on your dream holiday to Gili Trawangan, Air or Meno and you are a family of 4. Immediately you save $200.
This great news has finally come to fruition and it was expected as late last year in Dec 2015, the Indonesian government waivered the visa payments for 84 other countries and we knew eventually that Australia had to be added to the list. It was just a matter of timings.
This visa is strictly for Australians entering Indonesia on a 30 day tourist visa and does not apply to any other type of working visa. This action is expected to increase tourist numbers by anywhere from 5-20% over the next year according to the ministry of Indonesian tourism.
So what does this mean for you the traveller? Well it means that hotel room prices may go up due to the increase in demand especially during the peak holiday periods such as Xmas, school holidays and Easter. We know that Aussies love coming to Bali and the Gili Islands during these periods so this means you will have to book your Gili Islands hotel well in advance to miss out on that perfect hotel room, beachside resort or bungalow. We are not just saying this to get you to book with us we really mean it. This will put a whole lot more money back in the pocket of travellers and will make Indonesia a lot more attractive than say other tourist destinations like Fiji or Hawaii( where you get slammed with paying in US dollars – it’s just far far too expensive).
This move has put Bali/Gili Islands front and centre of being more affordable. The Indonesian government has finally woken up and has realised that these old outdated Visa payments were putting people off and sending them to other holiday hot spots. They were loosing valuable tourist dollars. With more money to spend Australian tourists will be willing to spend more on hotel rooms, souvenirs and restaurants.
So go on enjoy this while it lasts. Obviously, they can change their mind (we doubt it) but in the interim utilise this freebie and enjoy the magical Gili Islands.