Indonesia pledges smooth sailing for global yachters

The government has pledged to intensify its efforts to improve services for international yachters visiting the archipelago. By improving services for yachters, the government hopes to expand the country’s growing maritime tourist industry.

fremantle to bali, indonesian tourism minister +
Ocean masters: Indroyono Soesilo (center), chairman of the Tourism Ministry’s Maritime Tourist Industry Development Acceleration Taskforce, converses on Saturday with local officials and participants of the 2017 Fremantle to Bali Ocean Classic yacht race and rally in Sanur, Bali. (Courtesy of Tourism Ministry/File)

Indroyono Soesilo, chairman of the Tourism Ministry’s taskforce to accelerate the development of the maritime industry, highlighted the issuance of Presidential Regulation No. 105/2015 on foreign yacht visit management as an important milestone in the government’s efforts to streamline the sector.

Under the regulation, foreign yachts and their passengers and crews can access administrative and immigration support when they enter one of 18 selected ports, such as Benoa Port in Bali, Sabang Port in Aceh and Belawan Port in Medan.

“I understand that [the tourist] visa period is too short. [With the regulation] yachters now can have their visas extended for six months,” Indroyono said on Saturday evening in Sanur, Bali, during a ceremony to welcome hundreds of participants of the 2017 Fremantle to Bali Ocean Classic yacht race and rally and their family members.

Immigration authorities currently grant foreigners permission to visit Indonesia for a maximum of 60 days.

Indonesia has seen the arrival of hundreds of yachts – mostly sailing yachts – annually over the past decade. It now hopes to lure in “super-yachts”, or yachts measuring over 24 meters and operated by professional crews, to the archipelago.

To support such a goal, the Tourism Ministry has been joining hands with international yachting communities to introduce the country’s potential maritime tourist destinations. It also supports them in organizing yachting events such as the biennial Fremantle to Bali Ocean Classic.

For this year’s edition, the event attracted nearly 100 participants who sailed in a dozen of yachts to Benoa Port, located some 1,400 nautical miles from their point of departure at Western Australia’s Fremantle Port.