The government is set to waive visa requirements for another 45 countries by the end of this year, doubling the current figure.

“The presidential regulation [Perpres] is currently in the process of being signed. Hopefully [the new policy] can be applied by the end of this year,” said Tourism Minister Arief Yahya on Tuesday as quoted by Antara news agency.

Initially, the plan to waive visa requirements for more countries was set for next year. The ministry decided to bring the policy forward following the deregulation of assorted economic policies announced by the government on Sept. 9.

Previously, Arief said that the visa-free policy was expected to increase foreign tourist arrivals by between 5 and 25 percent.

Based on the latest evaluation, the first phase of the visa-free policy successfully boosted foreign tourist arrivals from 30 countries by 15 percent, while total foreign visitors to Indonesia increased by 2.69 percent.

Arief said that he was hopeful that the latest policy would helped boost the tourism sector in Indonesia, including by attracting up to 20 million foreign tourists per year in 2019.