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September 23, 2019

Regional, state tourism offices issuing temporary business permits

The Ministry of Hotels and Tourism has decentralized the power to grant tourism licences to regional and state Directorates of Hotels and Tourism. The directorates are currently issuing temporary licences to tourism businesses. Permanent licences will be issued to businesses after tourism management committees are formed in each region and state, according to a directive from the ministry in Nay Pyi Taw.
“At present, our office will grant temporary licences after forwarding the applications to the government. To get a tourism business licence, an entity must register with the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration, and meet other requirements such as having an office, director, website, tourist guides, and some capital,” said U Myint Sein, head of Magway Region’s Directorate of Hotels and Tourism.
“No one has applied to the Magway Region office for a tourism business licence yet. Only one tour agency is operating in the region. Two temporary licences have been issued to hotel and guesthouse businesses. Also, tourist guides have been found extending licences,” he said.
“There are two community-based tourism businesses in Magway, in Myaing and Chauk townships, and two more places will be designated as CBT sites. A committee of villagers and officials has been formed at the sites, and an awareness program on CBT is being conducted. If there is a potential CBT site ensuring facilities for tourists, the ministry grants permission. We are helping local residents from Mandalay, Pakokku, and Bagan towns to join courses offered by the MOHT. The Magway region committee will include officials from the forest, immigration, culture, environmental conservation, and hotels and tourism departments. The Chief Minister of the region will take the role of chairman of the committee, and the hotels and tourism sector will be placed under the region and state Planning and Finance Ministry. While drafting the rules, temporary licences are being issued. After the by-laws are instituted, permanent licences will be granted. The licence fee for a permanent licence has not been set. Other additional charges will not be levied,” said U Myint Sein.
“At present, only temporary licences are being issued. Permanent licences are likely to be granted in October, 2019. There are ten tourism companies in Kayah State,” said the head of Kayah State’s Directorate of Hotels and Tourism.
ASEAN Tourism Committee Meetings were hosted by Myanmar in Inle, along with the meetings of other subsidiary committees: the ASEAN Tourism Competitiveness Committee, the ASEAN Sustainable and Inclusive Tourism Committee, the ASEAN Tourism Resourcing, Monitoring, and Evaluation Committee, and the ASEAN Tourism Professional Monitoring Committee. The integration and development of ASEAN tourism was also discussed at the meeting.
“I applied for a tourism business licence on 11 September, 2018. But, there has been no response from the department yet. I applied for a service company licence on the MyCO electronic registry system of the DICA. The commercial tax varies depending on the type of business. After getting their company registered with the DICA, businessmen can seek permits from the MOHT,” said Ko Shine Lin Maung, who has applied for a tourism business licence in Yangon.
“I passed the 57th batch of the tourist guide course (English) offered by the MOHT in November, 2018, and applied for a tourist guide licence on 17, December, 2018. However, the ministry has not responded to my application yet. It is hard to get a job even if we have a tourist guide licence. Now, I am not too hopeful, as I do not have a licence,” said Ko Htut Myat Lu.
While temporary licences are being issued, regional and state tourism management committees are being formed to approve permanent permits in late 2019.—Phoe Thant
Translated by Ei Myat Mon

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