Myanmar plans to ease visa restrictions for western visitors

Theinghi Win Tin

Ministry of Hotel and Tourism is planning to ease visa restrictions for western tourists, on top of the recent move to make visa options easy for Japan, South Korea and China, said Myint Htwe, Deputy Director General of the ministry.

“We are thinking about loosening visa restrictions for western countries as we cannot ignore them. Visitors from the west have spending power and have standards. There are countries that have a good view on Myanmar. We are thinking to ease the visa restrictions for those. Many people from Spain and France visit Myanmar. They’ve made very little problems. It can be beneficial for the country,” said Myint Htwe.

Myanmar allowed free visa to Japanese and South Koreas and visa on arrival for Chinese (including Hong Kong and Macao) starting from October 1 to increase the number of travellers annually. The ministry is trying to negotiate with respective authorities to have visa exemption mutually. It is arranging services in related with the hotels and new tour packages for coming tourist season, he said.

“We allow Chinese with visa on arrival first and they will be granted free visa later. Many Chinese visits Myanmar and we are preparing to provide accommodation and transportation for them. Before that, we can only allow them visa on arrival,” he said.