THE MOROCCAN Government has revoked the visa-free rule for Indonesian (RI) citizens since last Friday (10/8). The Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia (KBRI) in Rabat in Morocco stated that this visa-free revocation was carried out unilaterally without notification to the Indonesian side.
“As a result of the Moroccan Government’s unilateral action, five Indonesian citizens who arrived in Morocco on October 10 and 12, 2021 were forcibly repatriated for entering Moroccan territory without having a visa,” the Indonesian Embassy in Rabat said in an official statement on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website, Friday (10/15).
In response to this, the Chairperson of the Indonesian Islamic Travel Communication Forum (IITCF) Priyadi Abadi regretted the decision. This is because Morocco has its own charm for Muslim tourists from Indonesia.
“The attraction is because we are crossing the Strait of Gilbraltar which separates the continents of Africa and Europe, this is also found in the Muslim holy book in the Al-Quran Surah Ar-Rahman 19-20,” he explained, Friday (10/15).
“Because it is in the Koran, it is favored by Muslim tourists because of the Strait of Gilbraltar. That’s why I really regret it, it’s a concern,” continued Priyadi, who also serves as the owner of Adinda Azzahra Tour & Travel.
Morocco According to him, the revocation of the visa-free policy for Indonesian citizens will increase the cost burden, because tourists from the country need to pay extra to apply for a visit visa or tourist visa. In addition, until now, his party also has not received any information on how much the visa fee is needed and how long it will take to process the visa.
Priyadi considers that the repeal of the policy actually makes it difficult for tourists to visit their favorite tourist destinations, including visits to Morocco.
“All parties should encourage tourism to rise again, and provide convenience. Not quite the opposite. Visas are increasingly burdensome, plus we need PCR and quarantine (tests),” he said.
Even though the visa-free policy for Indonesian citizens was revoked, Priyadi did not deny that there might be tourists from Indonesia who are still interested in traveling to Morocco. However, they need to prepare for an additional fee to apply for a visa, if in the future Morocco still revokes the visa-free even though the COVID-19 pandemic has been handled.
“The question is, if you can get it for free, why pay for it? So far it is free, this adds to the cost (for tourists) and the work of the travel agency which also takes care of visas,” said Priyadi.
“We hope that this Moroccan visa policy can be reviewed so that we can both encourage the recovery of the tourism world which was battered and devastated by the pandemic. What’s more, my tourism business also brings Muslim tourists to visit Morocco with travel routes that include Morocco, Spain and Portugal,” he concluded. [kompas.com/photo special]