Visa free travel to Myanmar for travellers from China, Japan and South Korea

Meiktila-Taung Gyi Elephant Camp

Tourists from China, Japan and South Korea will be able to travel to Myanmar without a visa from October 1, 2018 onwards. The new approach, which aims to encourage tourism to Myanmar, was announced by Vice President U Henry Van Thio at the Myanmar Tourism Conference. The visa free entry will be introduced as a one-year trial.

Myanmar currently does not require tourist visas for travellers from eight fellow members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. The inclusion of the three new countries is another sign that Myanmar is continuing its efforts to encourage tourists from Asia to travel to Myanmar.

Myanmar saw considerable increase in tourist footfalls from 390,000 tourists in 2011, to roughly 1.36 million tourists in 2017. Around 70 per cent of total visitors in Myanmar were from Asian countries. “Myanmar wants to take advantage of the increase in tourists from ASEAN travellers, and by waiving the need to have a visa, will encourage more tourists and businessmen to visit the country,” said the Vice President.

Travellers from each of the countries who plan to take advantage of the waiver programme will be asked to carry US$1,000 cash when entering the country to cover the expenses. A visa-on-arrival (“VOA”) programme will be introduced for Chinese travellers, according to which the visitors will need to pay an additional sum of US$50. The VOA will cover stays of up to 30 days for the purpose of tourism only.