Tourism law in parliament

YANGON, 19 July 2017: Myanmar Tourism Federation says the country’s new tourism draft law has already been submitted to parliament and it is expected to be enacted this year.

Global New Light of Myanmar reported that the new law was initially drafted in 2015 to raise the quality of tourism services.

It identifies the rights and responsibilities of tourism professionals and also protects tourists.

The Office of the Attorney General and a parliamentary committee have already approved the draft.

By-laws are also being written by the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism in cooperation with relevant tourism organisations. The by-laws are expected to take effect 90 days after enactment of the draft law.

Myanmar recorded 2.9 million tourist arrivals last year, a decline of 38% in comparison to the 4.68 million visitors in 2015. The huge decline was mainly attributed mainly to new data collection criteria.

Ministry of Hotels and Tourism no longer includes day trippers who travel on border passes. Most of them are traders who cross the border for business and return the same day. The travel industry said the inclusion skewed the genuine tourist and revenue calculations on which business plans and market campaigns are based.

The previous system counted all visitors passing international border checkpoints. The current system differentiates between tourists, business travellers, and day trippers.