Recently, a plan of reducing visa restriction for Western country travelers coming to Myanmar has been by made by U Yan Win, the chair of Myanmar Tourism Federation. That, visitors from France, Germany, Russia, Poland, Italy, and Spain will be the first countries to receive Myanmar visa exemption, according to the Immigration Department from Yangon International Airport.
Although possessing potential advantages for the tourism industry, the number of western visitors traveling to Myanmar has reduced significantly in recent years. It is due to political affairs and visa restriction. According to the statistic in 2018, though the total visitors has been increased significantly, tourist arrival from Western countries was recorded low. Therefore, this change is expected to improve the number of western travelers coming to the country in the upcoming years.
On January 11, 2016, Myanmar granted 12 kinds of visas for foreign tourists and two additional visas on February 8, 2018. Japan and South Korea travelers received the visa exemption to Myanmar. Additionally, tourists from Hong Kong, Macau were also allowed to enter Myanmar through visa arrival.
Currently, Myanmar visa on arrival is available for more than 50 countries at Yangon, Mandalay, and Nay Pyi Taw International airport. Tourists are permitted to stay in Myanmar for up to 28 days.
According to Mr. U Yan Win, granting visa exemption to tourists from western countries will help to boot the tourism industry of the country. As Western tourists are more inclined to have a Myanmar trip to explore glorious Buddhism, glittering pagodas, rich culture, and heritage. In early this month, Myanmar visa on arrival for tourists from France, Germany, Russia, Poland, Italy, and Spain has been proposed by the tourism group. However, it has not received a reply from the government.
Myanmar has witnessed an increasing number of visitors from China and Korea traveling to the country after eliminating the visa requirement. Therefore, the country can completely hope to have a better perspective in the future when reducing the visa restriction to western countries.