A notice was released August 1, suspending the policy requiring that Japanese, Korean and Chinese tourists are to show $1,000 as a proof of funds. This change in policy came after the Ministry of Hotel, and Tourism faced opposition. Even coming from the tourism sector itself.
The order was released on July 20, granting a visa free program for Japanese and South Korean visitors, and an on arrival visa program to visitors from China (including Hong Kong and Macao) arriving by air. This program will come into effect on October 1.
“The previous policy that was adopted was negotiated by the Ministry of Labour, Immigration and Population. But despite this, the ministry suspended the requirement of a $1,000 show of money, because the policy is an imperfect necessitating amendment”, Daw Khin Than Win, acting Deputy Director General, said.
As of June 2018, over 130,000 of the tourists in Myanmar were Chinese, 48,000 were Japanese tourists and 32,000 South Korean tourists. Compared to the figures recorded a year ago, there has been an increase in the number of Chinese tourists but a slight decrease in the number of South Korean tourists. Within this same, one year period, Myanmar received 1.722 million visitors via air, ocean liners and border gates, this number dropping by 37,000.
Under the new one year pilot program, the ministry will allow visitors from Japan, and South Korea to visit Myanmar, via Thai-Myanmar Border gates, Tachileik, Myawady, Kawkthaung and Hteekhee, as well as Yang, Mandalay and Naypyidaw.
For the visitors from China (including Hong Kong and Macao), the order will grant a visa on arrival program, for individuals travelling into Myanmar, via international airports Yangon, Mandalay and Nawpyidaw.