July 04, 2017

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Myanmar, Thailand start visa exemption

Myanmar’s national landmark Shwedagon Pagoda is one of the key tourist attractions in the country. Photo: Aye Min Soe
Myanmar’s national landmark Shwedagon Pagoda is one of the key tourist attractions in the country. Photo: Aye Min Soe

Yangon, 11 Aug — A reciprocal agreement on visa-free visits between Myanmar and Thailand came into force Tuesday, raising hopes of an increase in tourist numbers to both countries.
The agreement allows citizens of the two neighbouring countries to receive visa waivers for visits of up to 14 days if arriving via airports.
Officials of both countries launched the scheme at Yangon International Airport, where they welcomed arriving Thai visitors.
The visa exemption would strengthen the bilateral friendship and boost the economies of both countries, Mr Pisanu Suvanajata, Thailand’s Ambassador to Myanmar, told The Global New Light of Myanmar.
Thailand would try to expand the programme to Myanmar citizens arriving at entry points other than airports in the future, he added.
Myanmar currently allows visa-free entry for citizens of seven countries.
Thai tourists represent the largest number of foreign visitors to Myanmar.
Shwedagon Pagoda, Sule Pagoda and Bago, a town about 50 miles northeast of Yangon, are among the top attractions for Thai visitors.
“The visa exemption will lead to an influx of Thai tourists to Myanmar via three main airports and boost the travel industry,” Immigration Department Deputy Director U Aung Thiha said.
More than 122,407 Thais visited Shwedagon Pagoda in the first six months of 2015, according to the pagoda’s board of trustees.—MNA

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