A complete guide to starting a tourism business in Indonesia


Indonesia is a beacon for travellers from all over the world thanks to its enchanting coastlines, diverse culture and breathtaking landscapes. Apart from its attractiveness, there is a promising opportunity here for entrepreneurs looking to enter the dynamic tourism industry. In this article, we will review the archipelago's thriving tourism landscape and provide you with a detailed roadmap to legally and successfully set up your tourism company in Indonesia.

Indonesia's tourism market research

Our expedition begins with a thorough exploration of the main tourist destinations of Indonesia — Bali, Java, Sumatra, and Komodo. We will uncover the market dynamics unique to each region and uncover the potential opportunities that await your business. From the tranquil beaches of Bali to the wild beauty of Komodo, our analysis will help you make informed decisions that suit each destination's distinctive features.

Regulatory navigation

Starting a business venture requires a clear understanding of the law. We delve into Indonesia's regulatory environment, covering important aspects such as business licensing and tax codes. By analysing the legal aspects of registering a travel company in Indonesia, you will receive information that will ensure the smooth operation of your business and help you avoid potential legal mistakes.

New niches for tourism business

For those who strive to make sustainability the cornerstone of their business, we dedicate a segment to ecotourism. Learn how to incorporate sustainability into your business model, making it a unique selling point that resonates with conscious travellers.

Become free in the industry

Our main goal is to help you understand the intricacies of the Indonesian tourism industry and provide you with insider knowledge. So that you can turn the potential of the country's tourism sector into your own profitable enterprise.

Indonesia's tourism industry overview

Our initial goal is to provide a detailed overview of the Indonesian tourism industry. This review, while setting the stage for our deep dive into the specifics, provides a foundation for understanding the bigger picture. As always, we encourage you to collaborate with us by asking questions in the feedback form.

Indonesia provides maximum opportunities for travel companies. In this market report, we delve into the major trends and emerging trends that are shaping Indonesia's vibrant tourism industry.

Popular tourist destinations

  1. Bali: the best beach destination
    1. Known for its breathtaking beaches and rich cultural heritage.
    2. An idyllic destination for those seeking a combination of relaxation and cultural exploration.
  2. Java: an ecotourism paradise
    1. It is home to ancient Hindu temples and varied landscapes, from jungles to volcanoes.
    2. An ecotourism hotspot offering eco-friendly adventures amidst natural wonders.
  3. Sumatra: an adventurer's paradise
    1. Wild orangutans and tigers live in the local jungle.
    2. Attracts adventure seekers with wildlife safaris and trekking opportunities.
  4. Komodo: a unique refuge
    1. The famous Komodo lizard and amazing diving spots.
    2. An underwater paradise that attracts lovers of rich marine life.

Key tourism trends

  1. Development of ecotourism
    1. Meeting the growing demand for sustainable travel options.
    2. Emphasizes responsible tourism practices that are consistent with global conservation efforts.
  2. Expansion of cultural tourism
    1. Visitors strengthen connections with heritage sites.
    2. Growing interest in authentic cultural experiences beyond traditional tourist attractions.
  3. Increasing interest in water sports
    1. Diving is the main focus, with over 18,000 islands to explore.
    2. Water sports enthusiasts find refuge in Indonesia's crystal clear waters.

Meet leaders in Indonesia's tourism industry

Several large companies have found a recipe for success in the Indonesian tourism market. Let's have a look at a few industry giants who are setting trends in the market.

Panorama Destindo
As one of the largest tour operators in the country, they offer a huge variety of tours, from city breaks to beach holidays. Their breadth caters to all types of travellers.
Garuda Indonesia Holidays
The national airline's Garuda division relies on its aviation connections to specialize in air travel. From quick jaunts to two-week adventures, they are at the forefront of transport logistics.
Bali Hai Cruises
Focusing exclusively on boat tours, Bali Hai beckons water lovers to sail around the Indonesian islands in style. Their fleet of yachts and boats is unparalleled.

These titans of tourism adhere to the highest legal standards when it comes to licensing, financial reporting and more. For new companies, they become ideal partners for comprehensive solutions. Their success shows that opportunities await you in Indonesia!

Let's now look at the current travel trends shaping the market.

  • International arrivals are steadily increasing each year. New airports and transport upgrades fuel growth. The diversity of locations, activities and growing demand paint an attractive picture for tourism companies.
  • The opportunities abound in Indonesia's tourism sector. But realizing them requires adhering to licensing rules, tax codes and other legal formalities. More on that coming up! Booking the consultation if you have any other Indonesia market questions.

Exploring the Indonesian legal landscape for starting a tourism business

Success in Indonesia's tourism sector depends on compliance with legal formalities. Compliance with licensing rules, tax codes and other legal requirements is of utmost importance. If you're ready to dive into the legal aspects of the Indonesian tourism market, then let's get started!

To start a successful tourism venture in Indonesia, you must have a profound understanding of the legal environment governing the industry.

Licensing and certification

The cornerstone of legal compliance in Indonesia's tourism sector is obtaining the necessary licenses and certifications. The Ministry of Tourism plays a key role in issuing licences to businesses that meet the established criteria. Specialized niches such as ecotourism may require additional permits, and certification processes to ensure compliance with industry standards.

Tax obligations

The Indonesian tax system for tourism businesses is multifaceted and includes different levels that require close attention. Understanding and complying with tax obligations is of utmost importance:

  • Value Added Tax: VAT, set at 11%, is a critical component of the tax structure.
  • Income Tax: This component, at up to 25%, adds another layer to the financial liability.
  • Local Taxes: Local taxes vary by region and form an integral part of the tax system.

Maintaining good accounting practices is not just best practice, but also a necessity to comply with those tax obligations.

Laws on specialized tourism

In addition to the comprehensive Tourism Law, additional regulations are introduced in specific areas such as maritime tourism and cultural tourism. These rules often focus on sustainability, protection of cultural heritage and other nuances. A comprehensive understanding of these specialized laws is essential to a holistic approach to compliance.

Mandatory compliance

In Indonesia, compliance with these legal restrictions is mandatory. Failure to comply with the rules can have serious consequences, ranging from licence revocation to forced closure of the business. Thus, careful attention to compliance with the law is the key to smooth registration of the company and continuous legal activity.

Our qualified team is ready to use knowledge and experience to support the registration of your travel company in Indonesia. If you have any questions or need additional information, please do not hesitate to contact the experts at YB CASE.

Overcoming the difficulties of registering a travel company in Indonesia

Clients often ask us about possible challenges encountered in setting up new tourism businesses in Indonesia. Indonesia, with its natural beauty, cultural richness and growing middle class, holds great promise, but the registration process can be fraught with pitfalls for newcomers. In this section, we provide an overview of the key steps that will help your company succeed.

Choose your legal structure wisely

One of the first major decisions faced by new entrepreneurs in Indonesia is choosing a legal structure for the new company. The most common options are PT or Indonesian private limited company and PT PMA for foreign investment in Indonesia.

PT PMAs have minimum capital requirements starting from IDR 10 billion (USD 700 thousand) as well as stricter documentation standards. Local PTs may have lower capital requirements, starting from IDR 50 million (USD 3,500), but the founder must be an Indonesian citizen. You should consult Indonesian legal experts before deciding which structure best suits your business needs.

Carefully prepare documents for submitting an application for registration and verification

The regulatory requirements for registering a travel company in Indonesia can seem quite lengthy. Required documentation includes copies of owner and management passports, detailed capital fund records, detailed company articles of association, signed records of lease or ownership of company premises, and various application forms. Our consultants can provide guidance on collecting these materials for submission to the appropriate business registration authorities. Having an attorney accompany your application will make the process go more smoothly.

Secure your work credentials

Once your application for registration is approved, the consulting firm will issue the all-important Articles of Incorporation and Certificate of Incorporation. These certificates officially authorize and licence your travel company in Indonesia to begin business activities and operations as a registered legal entity. However, there is one more step before you really start working.

Open a company bank account in Indonesia

You must open an Indonesian bank account in the name of the registered business. This not only provides necessary access to capital funds and payments, but also represents an additional layer of legitimacy according to local regulators. Now, your new travel venture can finally take off and attract customers in one of Asia's fastest growing markets!

Let experienced consultants help you

Our team provides professional assistance to travel companies with incorporation in Indonesia. Rely on our extensive knowledge and contact us today to schedule a consultation session and put our regional expertise to work for you.

Developing a business plan for opening a tourism enterprise in Indonesia: strategic planing

With its tropical island paradises, ancient temples, diverse cultural traditions and growing economy, Indonesia presents a tempting opportunity for tourism entrepreneurs. However, operating successfully in a complex regulatory and competitive environment requires careful advance planning. By studying the market, developing financial models, assessing risk factors, and structuring your venture correctly from the beginning, you can set your company up for sustainable growth.

Conduct thorough market and competitor research
An in-depth analysis of existing players, industry trends and consumer demand should form the basis of your strategy. Research both local Indonesian agencies and large foreign firms. Seek to understand the business models, value propositions and target audiences of key contenders. This will help identify unmet niche needs or opportunities for differentiation. Also consider the unique characteristics of key destinations such as Bali, Java and Komodo, as marketing and partnerships may vary by region.
Make realistic financial forecasts
With an accurate understanding of the competitive landscape, map out projected startup costs, operating budgets, and cash flow scenarios. Consider costs such as legal and accounting fees, licensing fees, marketing, IT infrastructure and a financial buffer in case of superior strength. Be conservative in your income expectations, especially during the first few years. Regularly review and improve your financial modelling as laws and economic conditions evolve.
Assessing and planning risk mitigation
It is important to remember that travel companies also face significant risks, ranging from financial difficulties to legal consequences. Conduct a what-if analysis to stress test your business plan and contingency options. Identify ways to minimize risk, such as obtaining all necessary approvals in advance, establishing local partnerships, isolating finances through clear corporate structures, and purchasing specialized travel insurance products.
Choose the right business model
Deciding whether to operate as a travel agent or tour operator in Indonesia has essential licensing, tax and capital implications. Consider purchasing carefully selected travel packages instead of organizing your own customized tours. You also need to identify your ideal channels, be they digital platforms or specialized, in-demand services. The decision to decide a franchise or your brand further impacts startup costs and freedom to operate.

With careful planning, market knowledge and risk mitigation, your unique Indonesian tourism concept can become a reality. Contact us to discuss your ideas and how our consulting team can help realize your entrepreneurial aspirations in one of Asia's most promising markets.

Building a sustainable tourism enterprise in Indonesia: basic guidelines

Building a successful tourism company in Indonesia requires a multifaceted approach, from legal compliance and team building to environmental and social responsibility. Below, we have outlined important steps and strategies that will ensure not only the success of your business, but also its positive impact on the environment and local communities.

  1. Location and infrastructure
    1. Choose your region and location carefully, considering factors such as mass tourism preferences or specialized forms such as ecotourism.
    2. Legal support is necessary to resolve issues related to renting or purchasing premises, ensuring compliance with local laws and tax laws.
    3. Logistics and availability are key; choose a location with convenient access to major transport hubs and public transport stops.
  2. Team formation
    1. Attract highly qualified specialists in the field of tourism, accounting and legal support, considering both local and international knowledge.
    2. Establish a comprehensive recruiting process that includes resume review, interviews, and reference checks.
    3. Provide training and motivation to ensure high levels of customer service and a positive work environment.
    4. The corporate culture that guides the legal and accounting departments contributes to the company's reputation and long-term success.
  3. Environmental and social responsibility
    1. Practice sustainable tourism practices, considering the environmental impact of your activities.
    2. Participate in social projects, supporting local communities, creating jobs and improving social infrastructure.
    3. Minimize your environmental footprint through practices such as electronic document management, energy-efficient technologies, and collaboration with environmentally conscious partners.
    4. Compliance with environmental and social standards enhances corporate reputation and has a positive impact on the sustainability of Indonesia's tourism sector.

Creating a sustainable tourism enterprise in Indonesia requires a holistic approach that goes beyond legal compliance. By integrating responsible business practices, from team building to environmental consciousness, your travel company can contribute to the well-being of local communities and the overall sustainability of the tourism industry in Indonesia. Our company offers comprehensive services, ensuring not only compliance with legislation, but also recommendations for sustainable practices in the tourism sector.

How much does it cost to register and obtain a travel company licence in Indonesia?

Registering and licensing a travel company in Indonesia involves several costs. It is important to note that fees may vary depending on the specific circumstances of your business and any changes to regulations. Here's a general overview of the process and the costs involved:

  1. Registration of a business entity in Indonesia
    • You need to decide on the type of legal entity you want to create. The registration fee for PT is usually around IDR 3 million.
    • For PT PMA, the registration fee is higher and depends on the size of the authorized capital. The share capital requirement for a travel company in Indonesia is often set at a minimum of IDR 1 billion.
  2. Drawing up the charter
    • You will need to draft the articles of association, which may require legal assistance.
    • The cost of this service can range from IDR 5 million to IDR 15 million.
  3. Notary and legal expenses in Indonesia
    • Notary and legal fees are part of the registration process. These may vary depending on the complexity of your business structure and the services provided by the lawyers.
    • Estimated between IDR 10 and 20 million.
  4. Address registration in Indonesia
    • You will need a letter of location, which is an official document that proves your business address.
    • The cost of this can range from IDR 500,000 to IDR 2 million.
  5. Taxpayer Identification Number
    • Obtaining a NPWP (TIN) in Indonesia is an important step. The process is usually simple and does not require significant costs.
  6. Business licence (SIUP)
    • The cost of obtaining a business licence in Indonesia varies, but can range from IDR 2 million to IDR 5 million.
  7. Tourism business licence in Indonesia
    • Since you are running a tourism company, you will need a tourism business licence from the Ministry of Tourism.
    • The fee for this licence can range from IDR 10 million to IDR 50 million.

It is critical to budget for any additional costs that may arise during the registration process, including transportation, communications and other expenses.

Please note that these figures are estimates and for the most accurate and up-to-date information, it is recommended to consult a local business consultant or legal expert in Indonesia.


Registering a tourism company in Indonesia is a painstaking process that involves legal, operational and ethical aspects. Let's summarize the key steps and main strategies.

  1. Registration process
    1. Location and infrastructure: select a suitable region, considering factors such as mass tourism or specialized forms such as ecotourism. Legal support is critical to resolving issues related to leasing or purchasing premises and ensuring compliance with local laws.
    2. Licensing and certification: obtain necessary licences from the Ministry of Tourism, with additional permits for specialized niches. Certifications ensure compliance with industry standards.
    3. Tax obligations: understand Indonesia's multi-faceted tax system, including VAT, income tax and local taxes, with legal and accounting support to ensure compliance.
    4. Specialized tourism laws: understand and comply with specialized laws in areas such as marine tourism and cultural tourism, which are based on the general Tourism Law.
    5. Logistics and accessibility: consider the importance of logistics and accessibility, especially in Indonesia's archipelagos structure. Choose a location with convenient access to transport hubs.
  2. Operational strategies
    1. Leasing or buying a space: choose between leasing or buying a commercial space, considering the initial investment, flexibility and long-term control.
    2. Forming a team: attract qualified specialists in the field of tourism, accounting and legal support. Conduct a thorough staffing process and provide training and motivation for high levels of customer service.
    3. Corporate culture: develop a positive corporate culture that will enhance the overall reputation of the company.
  3. Environmental and social responsibility
    1. Sustainable tourism: use sustainable practices to minimize environmental impact, from electronic document management to collaboration with environmentally conscious partners.
    2. Social projects: participate in social initiatives to support local communities, create jobs and improve social infrastructure. These increases brand trust.
    3. Ecological footprint: minimize your environmental impact by optimizing resources, reducing carbon emissions and managing waste effectively.


Starting a tourism company in Indonesia is a multi-faceted task that requires compliance with regulations, strategic planning and a commitment to environmental and social responsibility. Our company offers comprehensive services to help you navigate the legal nuances while ensuring your business is compliant with sustainability principles. Contact us to book a consultation on registering a travel company in Indonesia.

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