KUALA LUMPUR, June 20 (Bernama) -- The government has agreed to visa exemption for tour groups from China on a trial basis.
Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the move was decided by the Cabinet yesterday. He said the implementation date of the trial period would be announced by the Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz soon.
"We are still looking for the best option for individual tourists," he told a press conference before a Ramadan breaking-of-fast ceremony with 200 orphans from Bagan Datoh at the Sogo Shopping Complex here today
Mohamed Nazri had called on the government to hasten the process of the proposed visa exemption for tourists from China, in a move to woo more of them to the country. Mohamed Nazri said between January and March this year, the number of tourist arrivals had dropped to 6.5 million from 7.1 million in the same period last year.
Ahmad Zahid, who is also Bagan Datoh member of Parliament, however said that the government would not compromise on security. "Several mechanisms to ensure that they return to their home country for a certain period are being sought together with the immigration, police and other authorities," he said.
He said the government had to withdraw the visa on arrival (VOA) to Chinese tourists to the country due to some problems like overstaying.