The Myanmar government will also ease visa requirements for tourist groups from China, including Hong Kong and Macau, seeing potential for growth in the number of visitors from the three Asian nations, Myo Win Nyunt, an official of the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism.

A tourism site in Myanmar (Photo: VNA)
The visa relaxation will begin on October 1st for a one-year trial. Accordingly, Japanese and RoK travellers will be allowed visa-free entry by air and land, while tourist groups from China will be able to enter with a visa on arrival at a fee of USD50 per person at airports in Yangon, Mandalay and Nay Pyi Taw.

According to the ministry’s notice, tourists from the three countries will be required to possess at least USD1,000 in cash. But the ministry is considering accepting credit cards or other means to check their financial standing, Myo Win Nyunt said.

The Myanmar Tourism Federation expects 50 percent growth in the number of Japanese visitors after the visa relaxation comes into effect.

According to the ministry's data, the number of Japanese visitors to the Southeast Asian country, including those on business trip and for other purposes, has steadily increased in recent years, topping the 100,000 mark in 2016.

In 2017, nearly 101,500 Japanese visited Myanmar, up 0.7 percent against the previous year, ranking third by nationality after Thai and Chinese and accounting for 7.5 percent of the 1.36 million visitors to Myanmar. Visitors from Asian countries accounted for 70 percent of the total./.