Myanmar starts reopening phase

YANGON, 20 April 2022: Myanmar makes the first moves to reopen international commercial flights at Yangon Internation Airport this week, according to a press statement released by Myanmar Tourism Marketing, a privately funded not-for-profit organization.

The country has been closed for more than two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic and a military coup that overthrew the elected government on 1 February 2021. Reopening Yangon’s airport to international flights will enable overseas Myanmar people to connect with their families.

The Myanmar Tourism Marketing statement said it is now possible for international business and leisure travellers to visit the country if they are full vaccinated and meet the criteria to secure an online e-visa.

International business travellers and tourists will be able to apply online for a business e-visa or tourist e-visa through the website www.evisa.moip.gov.mm.

Fully vaccinated travellers will be required to show a negative PCR test before arrival, pre-arrange a private transfer on arrival and stay for one night in hotel quarantine while waiting for the results of their in-country PCR test.

International travellers are also required to purchase Myanmar health insurance that covers Covid-19 (starting price USD50 for insurance valid for 15 days). If the in-country test is positive, the health insurance covers the additional cost of hotel quarantine and hospital fees according to requirements by the health authorities for a maximum of USD4,500

Travel downsides

MTM confirms cash withdrawals from ATMs in Myanmar are not possible at the moment, and businesses do not accept international credit cards. Travellers must pre-arrange their trip to Myanmar through a travel agency and bring lots of cash to cover the entire holiday costs.

There are also very few airlines ready to risk resuming services to Yangon. Travel demand in and out of the country has hit ground zero mainly due to security risks, the Covid-19 threat and negative travel sentiments shared by international travellers on social media.

Air Asia is the first international airline to announce a new flight schedule to Yangon International Airport. Starting from 13 May 2022, Air Asia will fly weekly from Kuala Lumpur.

Despite military junta efforts to present a rosy tourism picture that suggests airlines are eager to resume flights, international travellers will have doubts about their safety. They will also fear that their tourism dollars will help prop up a military junta that has arrested and imprisoned thousands of innocent people without trial. If the military junta released those detained without trial, it might send a conciliatory message to travellers who have vowed to give the country a wide berth. Until there is a return to full democracy and a scaling back of the military-led violence, Myanmar will remain off the travel radar, particularly for travellers who follow their conscience and adopt responsible travel principles as benchmarks.

About Myanmar Tourism Marketing

Myanmar Tourism Marketing (MTM) is a privately funded, not-for-profit organization that aims to promote Myanmar as a sustainable tourism destination that can be visited the whole year-round.

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