July 01, 2017

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MoHT cracks down on unlicensed outbound tour operators

Flooding in Mandalay has forced Yadanabon University to shut down. Photo: Yadanabon University’s fb
Flooding in Mandalay has forced Yadanabon University to shut down. Photo: Yadanabon University’s fb

Legal action will start to be taken this August against unlicensed domestic tourism operators which offer tours to foreign countries, according to the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism.
A sum of 69 unlicensed tour operators within Myanmar, which offer such overseas excursions, have reportedly been reminded to apply for an official license.
“We’ve told those unlicensed tour operators to apply for licenses. They were given until the end of June to complete their license applications, but this was then extended for the month of July after they requested more time. We’re now beginning to take legal action against those unlicensed enterprises; their time is up,” said U Myint Htway, an official from the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism.
Legal charges will reportedly be pressed in accordance with the existing hotel and tourism laws, which could see unlicensed outbound tour operators being fined and/or having their enterprises forcibly shutdown.
According to the records of the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism, Myanmar boasts a total of 255 licensed tour operators which offer travel itineraries to foreign destinations.
Ministry of Hotels and Tourism announced early last month that it would permit travel license to both inbound and outbound tours businesses this year, following request by the Myanmar Tourism Association.
Currently, tours companies have to apply for  two licenses for inbound and outbound tours to the Ministry to be able to run local and foreign tours.
The ministry launched the online system for issuing four kinds of licenses concerning travel business in the first week of July including licenses for hotels and guests houses, travelling, tour  guide, transportation related to tourism. Currently, 211 companies have been permitted for outbound tour operation so far while 1,980 companies are officially operating inbound  tour business in the  country, according to  the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism. Under the law, anyone  who carries out  the travel  services  without  permission  from the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism shall face up to K50,000  fine or three-year jail term or both.—GNLM with Myitmakha News Agency

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