They’re calling it ‘workcation’: Tourism Minister Sandiaga Uno fast tracks digital nomad visa plan

File photo. Photo: The Luxe Nomad
File photo. Photo: The Luxe Nomad

Indonesia’s Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Sandiaga Uno’s endeavor to woo digital nomads from all over the world to visit Bali continues as the official expressed his desire for the Island of Gods to become a “workcation” hotspot.

Speaking in his weekly press briefing yesterday, Sandiaga said the drafting of policies for the digital nomad visa has reached the final stages.

“We support Bali as a workcation place for digital nomads with length of stay that are [both] long and with quality, by easing work visas as well as visas [that are] related with digital nomad activities,” he said. 

A portmanteau of work and vacation, workcation is defined as “a vacation that one spends getting work done” – which also seems to be a trend among digital nomads in Southeast Asia, including Bali.

In the same press briefing, Sandiaga also said that he’s targeting a total of 1.5 million inbound international tourists for Bali by the end of the year, which would be around 25 percent of the annual average before the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We hope [that we can attract] international tourists with more quality, so that the economic impact [will be] bigger,” he said, adding that extending the length of stay for foreigners can positively impact the local economy.

International media outlets previously reported that the digital nomad visa would entitle holders of up to a five-year stay in Bali and exempt them from income tax if their employers are based abroad.

It’s not clear how far along discussions for the digital nomad visa had gone. In Bali, the island’s Office for the Ministry of Law and Human Rights told Coconuts Bali that they weren’t even aware of plans for the visa being discussed at the national level.

Sandiaga’s most recent statement, however, implies that the plan is being fast-tracked by the central government.

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