Tourist arrivals through Myawady rise as Thingyan approaches

Tourist arrivals through the Myawady border gate have risen in the three months before Thingyan, sources say.

A total of 3,623 tourists visited Myanmar through Myawady in the last three months, while 2,417 tourists came through the border gate in the same period last year.

A total of 2,749 Thai nationals visited Myanmar this year up to the end of March, while 1,623 did so last year.

However, the number of Myanmar citizens who travelled to Thailand in the first quarter of this year is about twice the number of tourists who came to Myanmar during the same.

A total of 2,760 Myanmar citizens went to visit Thailand social visits in the pre-Thingyan season, while 2,048 returned Myanmar. The arrivals and departures of Myanmar citizens in Thailand have been balanced as Thai authorities regularly arrest Myanmar people for overstaying their visas in Thailand.

“We heard it is prohibited for Myanmar workers to work in Thailand with tourist visas. They have been arrested at their places of work and sent back home. Employment agents are taking advantage of people from rural areas,” said an official from the Myawady Friendship Bridge.

A total of 49,674 Myanmar citizens, 25,114 Thais and 28,774 tourists from other countries visited Myanmar through the Myawady border gate between August 28, 2013, and the end of March 2016.