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Fiji Opens Gates for Chinese Tourists
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Chinese tourists to Fiji do not require a visitor's visa when traveling to Fiji.

Interim Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama gazetted a visa exemption order on Thursday.

According to Fijitimes, a daily newspaper, Commodore Bainimarama made the order under section 12 of the Passport Act.

He said the Passports Visa Exemption Order 2002 (Legal notice 34 of 2002) was now amended by inserting 'the People's Republic of China' after Paraguay and Hong Kong. He said the order could be referred to as the Passport Visa Exemption (Amendment) Order 2007.

The 800-plus volcanic and coral islands that make up the Pacific nation of Fiji enjoy a tropical climate and are a prime destination for tourists.

Immigration director Viliame Naupoto said he wasn't sure if the visa exemption order for China would result in an influx of tourists in the country.

"Only a small percentage of Chinese travel. For instance, in June 224 Chinese visitors were recorded. So we don't really expect an influx. There are 103 countries which are in the visa exemption category and the only difference is that there is no requirement for visas for these people," he said.

"We will still profile them at the border like everyone else if they have a visa or not. We will check if they have return air tickets and evidence of enough funds that would allow them to stay in the country," said Naupoto.

(Xinhua News Agency August 31, 2007)

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