Tuesday June 25, 2019
Home India Indonesia: Fr...

Indonesia: Free visas to attract Indians

0
//

New Delhi: Indonesia decided to grant free visas to Indians to attract more travelers from India which is a “big market” for them.

Vinsensius Jemadu, Indonesia’s tourism director, was in India to promote Indonesian tourism and attract more Indians. He says Indonesia and India enjoy very good relations which will help in attracting more tourists. Indonesia is also participating in the South Asian Tourism and Travel Expo (SATTE) 2016.

Jemadu said that more than 10 million people from across the globe visit Indonesia every year but only 270,000 from India. The country attracts the highest number of tourists from Singapore, followed by Malaysia, Australia, China, Japan, South Korea and then India.

“Realising that India is a big market, the Indonesian government decided to grant free visas to Indians. We have set a target to attract 350,000 tourists from India this year, which is a big challenge for us,” he said. “Most of the people from India visit Bali. Maybe it is because they do not know about other places there. We want them to explore other places of the country as well,” he said.

Indonesia’s tourism industry contributes nine percent to the country’s GDP. “Our plans are to boost tourism industry and increase it to 15 percent of the GDP by the end of 2019.”

“As many as 60 percent of the total tourists visit Indonesia because of its rich cultural heritage while 35 percent come to the country to see its natural beauty. Five percent tourists come here to enjoy manmade activities,” Jemadu said.

Expressing concern over the lack of direct connectivity between India and Indonesia, Jemadu said: “So far there is no direct flight between the two countries. People from India reach Indonesia via Singapore or Malaysia which is not good for tourism because people have to spend more time and money in travelling.”

He, however, added that this issue will be sorted out soon as both the governments have agreed to start the direct flight between the two nations.

“I am hopeful that the direct flight between Mumbai and Bali will start by March or April. Garuda Indonesian airline had agreed to operate flights between the two countries,” he said.(IANS)

Next Story

India Struggles with Encephalitis Outbreak in Eastern State of Bihar, One of Its Poorest Regions

In 2014, an outbreak of encephalitis killed 350 children in Muzaffarpur

0
India, Encephalitis Outbreak, Bihar
Children showing symptoms of encephalitis undergo treatment at Sri Krishna Medical College Hospital in Muzaffarpur, Bihar state, India, June 18, 2019. VOA

At least 152 children have died in an encephalitis outbreak during the month of June in India’s eastern state of Bihar, according to local health authorities. Following a petition, India’s supreme court ordered an investigation into the epidemic.

Acute encephalitis syndrome, sometimes referred to as ‘brain fever’, has claimed lives in 20 of Bihar’s 38 districts.  In particular, the disease has gripped the Muzaffarpur district of Bihar, reaching epidemic proportions in a region already stricken with poverty and poor child health.

In 2014, an outbreak of encephalitis killed 350 children in Muzaffarpur.

A petition filed to India’s supreme court sought to end the current epidemic, accusing local and regional governments of being negligent in their response.

India, Encephalitis Outbreak, Bihar

At least 152 children have died in an encephalitis outbreak during the month of June in India’s eastern state of Bihar. Pixabay

“[Encephalitis] is completely curable and lives of young children are being lost due to the inaction of state machinery,” the petition read.

“Most of the deaths are occurring due to lack of medical facilities in the area of outbreak,” it continued.

In response to the petition, Indian supreme court justice Sanjiv Khanna said “We issue notice to the Bihar government seeking a detailed response.”

State and national officials must respond within seven days on health conditions, according to India’s top court.

Also Read- Mutombo, One of the Greatest Defensive Players in NBA, Records Ebola Messages for US Officials

India’s health ministry affirmed its earlier promise to open a children’s ward in the district and monitor the epidemic, as state health official face sharp criticism for what has been seen as indifference and negligent behavior.

India’s health minister Harsh Varadhan insisted that the Indian government was providing “all possible support” to combat the epidemic.

Since June 1, more than 700 cases of the disease have been recorded, though there are signs that the disease has been slowing, with no new deaths reported on Monday. (VOA)