Myanmar trade wants land-based entry restrictions lifted

TOURISM industry stakeholders in Myanmar are urging the government to repeal a new law implemented in June, stipulating that tourists must enter and exit the country at the same checkpoint when using land-based border crossings.

Under the new rule, tourists who enter via Ruili/Muse or Tachileik, for example, would have to return to those gateways in order to depart from Myanmar.

A Yangon-based tour operator said it had been hard to obtain entry permits since the new rule took effect. The government rejected the company’s recent application for an entry permit on the grounds that it did not comply with the procedure.

Another Yangon-based travel agent said the government needed to look at the situation elsewhere in the region, where land access across borders was becoming easier rather than more difficult.

18,073 tourists entered Myanmar via land checkpoints shared with China and Thailand in the first six months of the year, an increase of almost 150 per cent compared to the previous year’s 7,236.

Approvals for land entry permits have come to a standstill since the directive was issued in June.

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