page contents

Myanmar Tourism predicts huge increase with new visa exemption

Myanmar Tourism predicts huge increase with new visa exemption

“I do expect a 35 percent increase of Singaporeans traveling to Myanmar if we successfully promote the variety of tourist attractions the country has to offer. Myanmar is safe, excellent to travel the whole year round, and Myanmar food is certainly something to come back for over and over again,” said Myanmar Minister of Hotel & Tourism H.E. Mr U Ohn Maung, while discussing the country’s new travel visa exemption.

Effective today, December 1, 2016, Singaporeans traveling to Myanmar for under 30 days, either for business or leisure, need not apply for a visa. The visa exemption between the two countries was announced on June 1, 2016 during the visit of Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to Myanmar.

The number of Singaporean travelers to Myanmar is predicted to increase by 35 percent as a result of the 30-day visa exemption for citizens of both countries. To showcase the Golden Land’s diverse attractions, Myanmar Tourism Marketing (MTM) is leading a delegation of Myanmar hospitality and travel companies to Singapore, coinciding with the visit of State Counsellor Aung San Su Kyi.

A part of the Myanmar Tourism Federation, MTM aims to promote Myanmar as a sustainable tourism destination. The Singapore roadshow features a high-level business matching meeting among some 50 Myanmar and Singapore hospitality & travel companies today. It also serves as a lead up to the first Myanmar Tourism Festival in Singapore in January 2017.

“Given the proximity between Myanmar and Singapore and the deep ties between the two nations, which go back 50 years with the launch of bilateral diplomatic relations, such closeness will translate into strong growth of two-way tourism and stronger people-to-people relations,” says MTM Chairperson May Myat Mon Win.

“We have witnessed a surge of Singaporean travelers and look forward to this growing. We’re on a mission to show the world what this hidden gem called Myanmar has to offer; and in doing so, we’d like to dispel some myths about the country. It’s not true that you can only visit Myanmar during the dry season. In fact, Myanmar’s best kept secret is the green season from June till September,” she added.

Home to some of the most remarkable sights and cultural experiences in Southeast Asia, Myanmar is steadily establishing itself as a popular destination that’s safe and readily accessible any time of the year.

MTM is poised to facilitate improvements to and diversify existing travel options in Myanmar to support the Myanmar government’s effort to tap into the large pool of Singaporean travelers. MTM is also working closely with tourism players from both countries to create travel packages that will make Myanmar even more attractive to Singaporeans.

In 2015, there were 43,000 Singaporeans who traveled to Myanmar. As of August 2016, more than 32,000 Singaporeans have visited the country, an increase of 18 percent compared to the same period last year.

The main destinations for Singaporeans traveling to Myanmar are Yangon and Mandalay, where there are direct flights from Singapore. While leisure travelers continue to rise, most visits to Myanmar from Singapore are for business, a testament to the strong trade relations between the two countries.

Based on figures from the Myanmar Directorate of Investment and Company Administration (DICA), Singapore is currently the second largest investor in Myanmar after China with over USD$13 billion in foreign direct investment.

MTM Executive Committee member Edwin Briels, who has lived in Myanmar for more than 15 years, shares, “Whether it is for business or pleasure, there is so much to see and do in Myanmar. Business visitors who come seeking opportunities in this new market typically set foot in cities like Yangon, Mandalay and Nay Pyi Taw. We encourage all visitors to venture out and see more of the country’s treasured spots — the amazing temples of Bagan, the majestic Inle Lake, pristine beaches and breathtaking highlands. Most of all, come to Myanmar to experience the warmth and generosity of the people and a culture unlike any other.”

Tagged with