Visa on Arrival Myanmar 2016Visas on arrival in Myanmar 2016
The ministry criticizes hesitant procedure for visas on entry
Hotel and Tourist Minister U Ohn Maung criticized the gradual approach to the Ministry's suggestion to grant visa on entry to Chinese, Japanese and South Korean travellers in order to promote local tourist activities. "We thought they (the Immigration Department) would give packages when travelers arrived by plane," said U Ohn Maung of the Myanmar Times.
The Ministry of Hotel and Tourism twice applied for visa waivers at a conference two years ago with Vice President Henry Van Thio, Chairman of the Central Committee for the Development of National Tourism. "I am very angry at the failure to implement the visa solution we have been debating for two years," he said.
I Ohn Maung said that if tourist from these three counties, which have been a partner of the Association of South-East Asian Nations for many years, could get a VOA, more travelers would come to Myanmar. "If the visa waivers section can provide visa waivers for Japan and Korea as well as a VOA for China, it would make it simpler for travelers from these lands to come to Myanmar," he said.
I Ohn Maung said that travelers from the West decreased by up to 40 per cent between October 2017 and March 2018, against the same time frame in 2016, due to the adverse impact of the human rights crises in North Rakhine State. The number of tourists arriving in February fell by almost five per cent to 600,000 in comparison with the same time frame in 2017, when 630,000 tourists arrived.
Mr U Khin Zaw, managing director of a travel agency with around 30 years of travel industry expertise, estimates that at least seven per cent of Japanese and five per cent of South Korean travelers could be able to travel if they were exempted from the visa requirement. Khin Zaw, the advisor to the Ministry of Hotel and Tourism, added that the number of visits from China could grow by 12% if they receive the VOA.
"If travelers from ASEAN, Japan, South Korea and China ascend, we can look forward to the same level of traffic this year as in 2016-17," he said. Myat Mon Win, chairman of the Myanmar Tourism Marketing Association, said that travel can be slightly affected by negative policy and business trends in a state, as is now the case due to fresh violent events in the North.
It is important that we continue our work to disseminate the good messages and tell the tourist good tales until the picture improves," she said. They should also immediately attract visitors from short-haul and directly connecting flights to the countryside to increase arrivals.
"Now we are pursuing a marketing approach for prospective locations such as Japan, South Korea and China, as well as Spain, Russia and the Nordic countries," she said.