The number of Singaporean travellers to Myanmar is predicted to increase sharply following the introduction of a new mutual visa waiver programme.
A delegation of tourism operators and representatives from Myanmar, organised by Myanmar Tourism Marketing (MTM), arrived in Singapore today (2 December 2016) to coincide with the state visit of Aung San Su Kyi.
“I do expect a 35% increase of Singaporeans travelling to Myanmar if we successfully promote the variety of tourist attractions the country has to offer,” revealed Myanmar’s Minister of Hotel & Tourism, U Ohn Maung. “Myanmar is safe, excellent to travel the whole year round, and Myanmar food is certainly something to come back for over and over again.”
Singaporeans travelling to Myanmar either for business or leisure purposes can now enter the country visa-free and stay for up to 30 days. This visa waiver scheme, which was announced on 1 June 2016 and came into effect on 1 December, is reciprocal, so citizens of Myanmar can now visit Singapore under the same conditions.
MTM’s Singapore roadshow features a high-level “business matching meeting” that aims to connect 50 travel and hospitality companies from Myanmar and Singapore. This will also set the stage for the inaugural Myanmar Tourism Festival in Singapore, which will take place in January 2017.
“Given the proximity between Myanmar and Singapore and the deep ties between the two nations, which go back 50 years ago with the launch of bilateral diplomatic relations, such closeness will translate into strong growth of two-way tourism and stronger people-to-people relations,” said MTM’s chair, 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,” she added.
In 2015, 43,000 Singaporeans travelled to Myanmar. And in the first six months of 2016 the total reached 32,000 arrivals, marking a year-on-year increase of 18%.