Sunday, November 05, 2006


Among the most popular tourist destinations are Bali, the restored Borobudur Buddhist temple in Java, and historic Yogyakarta. Cultural attractions include traditional Balinese dancing, the percussive sounds of the Indonesian orchestra (gamelan), the shadow puppet (wayang kulit) theater, and the famous Indonesian rijsttafel, a banquet of rice and savories. Tourism, as a means of affording wider employment, is strongly promoted by the government, which has supported the development of surfing, skindiving, and other marine sports in the reefs and tropical seas of the archipelago and the creation of resorts in Sumatra, Kalimantan, Nusa Tenggara, Maluku Province, and Irian Jaya. Gambling has been prohibited since 1981.

A valid passport and an entry visa are required of most foreigners entering Indonesia. Citizens of Israel and South America must obtain special travel affidavits from Indonesian officials in their own countries. For certain countries, including the US, a tourist visa does not need a visa for up to 60 days. For other countries, a tourist visa for visits up to 30 days is obtainable. Precautions against malaria, hepatitis, typhoid, and cholera are recommended.

An estimated 5,064,217 foreign tourists visited Indonesia in 2000, with over 70% coming from East Asia and the Pacific region. About 25% of travelers are from Singapore. Tourist receipts amounted to $5.7 billion. The same year, there were 252,984 hotel rooms with an occupancy rate of 42%.

The cost of traveling in Indonesia varies greatly from city to city. According to 2003 US government estimates, the daily cost of staying in Jakarta was approximately $195 per day. Daily expenses were an estimated $130 for Surabaya, $114 for Medan, and $220 for Bali. Elsewhere the estimated daily cost was about $96.

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