Myanmar will resume visa-on-arrival service once the results of its general elections have settled, according to a senior tourism official of the country.
The starting date has yet been confirmed, but in a media briefing at Asean Travel Forum, the country’s director general of Ministry of Hotels and Tourism Htay Aung confirmed that it would be sometime in 2011. The option will first be available to travellers from the Asean countries before being extended to nations without Myanmar embassies or consulates and then the rest of the world.
The visa-on-arrival system was introduced in May last year as an experiment at Yangon and Mandalay airports but was stopped in September for evaluation. Htay said that during that period, tourist number had increased.
According to figures provided through his presentation to the media, the number of international arrivals in Myanmar in 2010 has been reported as 791,505, increased from 762,547 in 2009. There are currently 23,454 hotel rooms in Myanmar, with more in the pipeline for the coming years.
The country’s connectivity also continues to improve, with a twice-a-week (Wednesday and Saturday) flight from Siem Reap to Yangon, set to be launched on February 23, by Myanmar Airways International on an Airbus 350 with capacity for 162. The capital’s airport is also served by other airlines such as AirAsia, Thai Airways, Vietnam Airlines, China Southern Airlines and SilkAir.