Australia has been added to the list of countries offered visa-free travel to Indonesia.
The Antara news agency reported a government official as saying that 84 new countries will be added to the list “starting this week”.
Australia – Indonesia’s largest visitor source market – is one of the new additions, along with Brazil, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Ukraine.
It was initially reported that Israel would be on the list, but that has since been denied.
“We decided to apply the visa-free policy to 84 more countries starting this week,” Indonesia’s Maritime Affairs Minister, Rizal Ramli, was quoted saying after a meeting in Jakarta on Monday.
Following the addition of the 84 new countries, Indonesia will now offer visa-free entry to the citizens of 174 countries and territories. The move forms part of the country’s plan to increase its international visitor arrivals to 20 million by 2019.
Rizal also revealed that since October, when the visa waiver scheme was expanded, Indonesia has experienced a 19% year-on-year increase in international arrivals.
“The figure is much higher than the normal growth, which is usually only 6-8%,” he stated.
** This article was updated on 23 December with the new information about Israel **