Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Easier permits for foreign-owned yachts

Indonesia plans to ease the processes involved in the issuance of entry permits for foreign-owned yachts, to boost the yachting tourism sector.

Tourism Minister Arief Yahya said here on Saturday, "It is hoped that it will, soon, take only two hours to issue a permit."

He made the statement here while visiting Nongsa Point and Marina in Batam, Riau Islands province, in Sumatra.

The government will adopt an online system of issuing permits known as the Clearance Approval for Indonesian Territory (CAIT Online), he stated, adding that it also plans to extend the stay permit for yachters from three months to six months.

Furthermore, the yachting tourism sector in Indonesia is quite competitive as compared to that of neighboring countries, Yahya pointed out.

While in Singapore, the parking fee for a yacht amounts to Sing$1,000 to Sing$1,500 per month, it is only some Sing$500 in Indonesia, he observed.

So far, thousands of yachters have parked their vessels in Singapore because the regulations and bureaucracy in Indonesia are not as competitive, he explained.

The minister further noted that the potential to attract yachters to stay in Indonesia was, in fact, high, considering Singapores limited waters, and also as yachters sail around the waters of the Riau Islands and its vicinity.

"In view of that, we must improve our services so we can compete," he emphasized. 

In addition, bureaucratic reforms set to be incorporated into yachting tourism are soon expected to boost national sailing sports, Yahya affirmed.

Moreover, the Ministry of Tourism has received support from the Ministry of Transportation with regard to advancing the yachting tourism sector through the development yacht docking locations and improvement of piers capacities.

"The Ministry of Tourism has proposed to the Ministry of Transportation to develop the capacity of piers in 38 locations where yachts dock," he said.

The Ministry of Tourism, along with stakeholders in the sector, have developed 18 yacht routes from Papua in the east to Sabang in the west.
The development of these routes has been carried out through rallies, races and sailing events, such as Sail Raja Ampat, Sail Tomini, Darwin-Ambon International Yacht Rally, and Sabang International Regatta. These events have, so far, been attended by international yachters sailing from Phuket in Thailand, who then stay in Langkawi in Malaysia and stop by Sabang, Indonesia.  (Antara)

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