Govt relaxes visa restrictions for Europe
The Ministry of Hotels and Tourism will reduce visa restrictions for six European countries to boost the number of inbound tourists to Myanmar and give the sector a needed boost.
Under a new Look West Policy, The Myanmar Times understands that tourists from Germany, Italy, Australia, Russia, Switzerland and Spain will be able to apply for visas on arrival at US$50 per visa and be permitted to remain in Myanmar for a period of 30 days. The term of the visas cannot be extended.
However, the ministry has yet to issue an official announcement on the development, said U Khin Maung Soe, director of the Department of Information and Local and International Relations.
U Thet Lwin Toe, chair of the Myanmar Tourism Entrepreneurs Association reaffirmed that the move is close to being finalised. “We will announce the new development as soon as the announcement is made by the ministry,” he said.
The expected easing of restrictions for Europe comes after the government last year implemented similar measures for Japan, South Korea and China, resulting in a 30 percent rise in the number of tourists from those countries. However, local tour companies claimed that the moves were insufficient to offset the fall in tourists to Myanmar due to the refugee crisis in northern Rakhine since August 2017.