Myanmar opens up with VOA

Myanmar’s decision to grant visa-on-arrival (VOA) to nationals of more than 100 countries (TTG Asia e-Daily, May 4) is expected to significantly boost arrivals to the destination.

  03/06/2010 11:43
Myanmar-based All Asia Exclusive Travel managing director Phyoe Wai Yar Zar said: “It’s a breakthrough for the tourism industry of Myanmar. We hope we’re seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.”

Asian Trails group managing director Laurent Kuenzle expects immediate results, particularly for last-minute bookings and markets with short lead times. “VOA is a giant step for Myanmar tourism, which has had two bad years. This year, we want a 20 per cent increase on 2007.”

ICS Travel Group would push sales in markets without Myanmar embassies and those showing interest in the country, such as Spain, South America and Scandinavia, said chief sales officer Sabine Widmann.

On criticism of the rule requiring proof of funds (US$300 for individuals and US$600 for families), Kuenzle said this was the norm in most countries anyway.

VOA is extended to nationals of more than 100 countries with diplomatic relations with Myanmar. A 28-day tourist VOA costs US$30, 70-day business VOA US$40, 28-day social VOA US$40 and 24-hour transit VOA US$18. Fees are waived for children under seven, travelling with their parents. Visitors must stay in government-approved hotels. (Sources: Sirima Eamtako, TTGAsia)

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