Myanmar Restricted areas 2016Burma closed areas 2016
Some off-limits areas are not open to tourists.
confused about changes to trip restrictions
The heads of state and governments of the tourist sector have called on the Turkish authorities to work to lift the travelling regulations that have kept most of the countries away for years. The Ministry of the Interior lifted the ban on travelling to some areas in the states of Chin, Kayah, Kayin, Shan and Kachin in January.
Industrial springs say, however, that the tourist who tries to get to these areas is still rejected because of the disorientation about the game. "The Ministry of the Interior seems to have published the revised tourist destination lists, but they have not been approved by the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism," said a spokesman for a major Yangon tourism group.
"there was a great deal of argument and disorientation among operatives and visitors. We need the two departments to work more together for the sake of the development of our tourist industry," he said. On 28 August, the Thai authorities highlighted the puzzlement and formalised the announcement that four Thai frontier crossing points will allow visitors to arrive and leave Myanmar.
However, the new regulations introduced earlier this year seem to have opened large parts of the land to free trade. There are only a few travel sites that still need a visa, among them Mogok in the Mandalay region (see related history on the right) and Hpakant in the state of Kachin. Spokesman for the state organization Myanmar Travels and Tours (MTT) under the Ministry of Hotel and Tourist Board approved some but not all of the changes.
The state of Chin, which could previously only be reached with a licence and a governor, allows visitors to enter the Mindat and Kanpetlet districts without a previous licence, while they can also enter Tiddim, Ton Zang, Falam, Tlangtlang and Haka, but need a licence to go beyond the city boundaries. "Every trip to the Paletwa and Matupi counties in the state of Chin still requires the Ministry of the Interior's consent," the spokesman said.
The players in the branch said that although the changes were "important" for the branch, the way in which they were proclaimed was problematical. One of Yangon's large tourist agencies said that visitors would still not be able to see some of the new cities as they still needed a permit to get to their destinations.
"As an example, Hpa-an and Myawaddy are open to tourism, but you need a permit to get outside the city of Kawkareik. That' s pretty weird, because the only way for the tourist to get to Myawaddy is through Kawkareik," he said. The Ministry of Hotels and Tourism had to strengthen its communications, he said, and added that its website was not up to date and the information was not trustworthy for agencies or overseas guests.
However, the Department's website (http://www.myanmartourism. org/) does not yet include the changes under the "Restricted Areas Policy" page, although it has re-published the January Interior Department announcement on a new section of the site. "By the time we reviewed the restricted areas on the website of the Department of Hotel and Tourism, it was very outdated in comparison to the Home Office's list," said the CEO.
A German expatriate said that during his visit to Hpa-an in July he came across the inconsistency in changing the tour prohibition. Nevertheless, the market leader is optimistic about the changes and said they could have "huge" potentials for the industry's future expansion. Myanmar Marketing Committee Chair U Wai Yar Zar, CEO of All Asia Exclusive Travels, said the nation would profit from more tourism product.
Khiri Travel is one of the businesses that want to grow by land between Myawaddy and Yangon. "Providing the opportunity for travelers to or from Myanmar via Myawaddy and hopefully the Three-Pagoda Pass will certainly have a major impact on travel, especially in Mon and Kayin State," he said.
However, despite the easing, some interesting and potentially prohibited targets are still on the ban lists, among them the former Thandaung mountain terminal, 21 kilometers due to the east of Taungoo on the Bago region and the state of Kayin. Light House Hospitality manager Frank Janmaat, who operates the Royal Kaytumadi Hotel in Taungoo, said that Thandaung is only open to visitors during the daytime.