Bali 1
Bali 1 Image Credit: Shutterstock

Indonesia plans to let more nationalities enter the country without visas, reversing an earlier tightening of entry rules, to attract more tourism spending.

The government is proposing to add 20 countries to the list, including the US, China and India, said Tourism Minister Sandiaga Uno after a cabinet meeting on Thursday. A few Middle Eastern countries could also be included, he added.

Earlier this year, Indonesia limited visa-free entry to neighboring Southeast Asian countries after many instances of foreign tourists misbehaving and breaking local laws. This time, the government will also step up surveillance while seeking to bring in visitors who spend more and stay longer, and are less likely to behave badly, Uno said.

"There must be a reciprocal aspect and a security aspect that must be maintained," the minister said, referring to Indonesia's requests for its citizens to be granted visa-free entry in return.

The government is targeting 11.5 million foreign tourists this year, and expects the sector to contribute 200 trillion rupiah ($13 billion) to the economy next year.