Ministry of Hotels and Tourism has a plan to give out licenses for outbound tours and has asked tourism business operators to give them feedback.
The Union of Myanmar Tourism Association held a meeting on December 15 in Yangon with business people in the tourism sector in order to provide input to set up regulations for companies that wish to offer travel tours and services to foreign countries. Most tour companies currently focus on in-country tours and services.
The facts the representatives discussed will be sent to the ministry and ministry will set the rules, said U Naung Naung Han, secretary of the UMTA.
The ministry has proposed charging tour companies a deposit of K10 million (US$10,000) for the outbound permit but the tour companies suggested a lower rate of K2 million.
Another key factor in obtaining a permit will be the length of time a company has been in operation. The ministry has suggested a minimum of two years.
One tour operator took issue with this, claiming there this would not take into account a new company just focused on outbound tours.
Outbound tours are not completely new. Some companies have been running trips for Buddhist pilgrims to Bodha Gaya in India under the auspices of the Ministry of Religious Affairs and there is an official outbound tour license for such tours.