Tourist arrivals in Mandalay Region in the first quarter (Q1) of this year were estimated at over 300,000, and more travellers are expected to visit the region this year than in the previous years.
Under a year-long trial (1 October, 2019 to 30 September, 2020), Italian, Spanish, Australian, Swiss, German, and Russian tourists who hold ordinary passports will be granted visas on arrival, said U San Yu, the assistant director of the Directorate of Hotels and Tourism for Mandalay Region.
Starting from October, 2018, ordinary passport holders from Japan, South Korea, Macau, and Hong Kong are not required to apply for a tourist visa for visits of up to 30 days, and they can enter and leave from all international checkpoints. Also, Chinese tourists are being issued visas on arrival.
The number of tourist arrivals from Asian countries has been increasing, with most tourists coming in from China. Tourist arrivals from China doubled in January this year against last year, followed by arrivals from France and Thailand. A high tourist inflow helps in the growth of related businesses such as hotels, motels, restaurants, and souvenir shops, said an official from the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism.
The hotels and tourism department has been creating new destinations and arranging more inbound tourism sites, he said.
The influx of tourists to Mandalay Region was registered at over 385,000 in 2016, over 483,780 in 2017, and over 492,000 in 2018.— Min Htet Aung/ Ko Khant
(Translated by Ei Myat Mon)