(4 minute read)
Myanmar has seen a slight contraction in tourist number during the first half of t2018. Tourist arrivals still reached 1,722,049 visits, a drop of 2%, according to the latest update by Hotel and Tourism Ministry.
Thai tourists remain the top source market but China is catching up. Other tourists are coming from Japan, South Korea, Singapore, India, Vietnam and Malaysia. Malaysians still need to apply for a visa, the only remaining ASEAN nation that has not been awarded visa-free status for travel in Myanmar.
From November to March, Europe’s winter months, Europeans remain a major source of tourists but the continuing Rohingya crisis is said to be restricting growth in this market following October 2016.
According to the ministry’s half-year update air passenger arrivals reached 651,986 at the three international airports in Yangon, Mandalay and Nay Pyi Taw (the capital). 682,100 visitors entered the country on visas, while another 1,039,949 were border pass travellers.
Myanmar tourism officials are expecting to reach 7 million visitors by 2020. Last year the figure reached 3,443,133 tourists, an increase of 18%.
Myanmar has 1,666 licensed hotels with 66,913 rooms up by over 510 over the past three years.
Yangon has the largest number with 399 hotels, followed by Mandalay with 215, Taunggyi/Inlay with 148 (4,483 rooms) and Bagan/Nyaung with 85 (2,919 rooms).
Out of the 14 states and regions in Myanmar, Yangon Region, Mandalay Region and Shan State attract the most international tourists.
SOURCE: Myanmar Ministry of Hotels and TourismKeep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.
Nearly 300 Thais stranded at the southern border, paperwork issues
Around 300 Thais trying to return to Thailand are stranded at the Wang Kelian immigration checkpoint in northern Malaysia’s Perlis State. On the other side is Thailand’s Wang Prachan checkpoint in Satun’s Khuan Don district. They’ve been denied entry after failing to comply with the strict new regulations set by the Thai authorities.
Thailand and Malaysia have closed their checkpoints along the southern border. The two countries do not allow entry by foreigners via these checkpoints except their own citizens.
Thai nationals are meant to be permitted to return to Thailand via the Wang Prachan immigration checkpoint in Satun. But to be eligible, the Thai nationals are required to contact the Thai embassy in KL or a Thai consulate in Malaysia to get a formal letter of their residential status in Thailand. The Thais are also required to obtain a health certificate which are issued not longer than 72 hours previously.
250-300 Thais, most of them who worked as crew on Malaysian fishing boats, but live in Satun, as well as some Thai tourists, converged on the Wang Kelian checkpoint from around 9am yesterday. But they were denied entry by the Thai immigration police because they failed to produce all the requisite paperwork.
By 2pm a meeting was held between Thai and Malaysian authorities on the Thai side of the border. All the talking wasn’t able to resolve the situation and the Thais were told they could not cross into Thailand.
Eventually, after hours of negotiations, the Satun Governor Veeranan informed the throng that the Thai consulate in Penang, would speed up procedures so that the stranded Thais would be able to return home.Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.
King and Queen of Malaysia under quarantine after palace staff test positive for coronavirus
Malaysia has the highest number of Covid-19 coronavirus cases in Southeast Asia (2031 at time of publication), and now its King and Queen are under quarantine after 7 staff members of the royal palace tested positive for the virus. National news agency Bernama made the announcement yesterday.
Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin and his wife Tuanku Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah have tested negative for the virus, according to the Comptroller of the Royal Household. However, they decided self-quarantine for 14 days, beginning Wednesday.
The seven workers are reported to be in stable condition. News portal Malaysiakini reports that the health ministry is investigating how the seven become infected.
Malaysia reported 235 new coronavirus cases yesterday in its biggest daily jump. The number of deaths from rose to 23, the health ministry said.
Front-line medical workers in Malaysia say they’re being put in danger by a lack of protective equipment and uncooperative patients as the country struggles to prevent another wave of infections by extending a nationwide lockdown.Facebook page.
Thais in Malaysia may return home, but only by air
Today a statement was issued by the Thai Embassy in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and has officially announced that Thais’ who wish to return home can do so by air. And only by air, if they get a flight.
Thai citizens in Malaysia can request a certificate from the Embassy via e-mail, if they want to return to Thailand. Provided that they obtain a ‘fit to fly’ certificate from any hospital or clinic in Malaysia or at the two airports in Kuala Lumpur. The certificate must certify that they have proven negative for a Covid-19 test.
The Thai embassy has also opened three hotline numbers – 017 709822, 011 11721963 and 011 11608379 – for Thais seeking advice on the matter.
SOURCE: Thai PBS World
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