Thai trips expected to rise as visa-free deal comes into effect

Visa-free travel to Thailand comes into effect today, sparking a likely spike in visitor numbers, travel agents say. Following an agreement reached last month, Myanmar passport holders can now pop over to Bangkok or Phuket for a two-week trip without queuing for a visa at the Thai embassy in Yangon or showing evidence of funding.

A spokesperson for Sun Far Travel and Tours said, “This is likely to increase the numbers of tourists bound for Thailand,” adding that anyone wishing to spend more than 14 days in the kingdom, or travelling there for business purposes, would still need a visa.

Ma Sandi Wine, of Sunday Travel and Tours, said, “Myanmar citizens can now easily fly to Thailand for shopping or medical treatment. I know lots of people who plan to go now that they don’t have to queue up at the consulate. It’s great.”

Ma Mee Mee, a senior manager with MGCT Construction, said, “The cost of visiting Ngwe Saung or Inle is about the same as going to Thailand, which offers great hotels and restaurants, as well as impeccable service. Not to mention the shopping. Now that I don’t need a visa, I will probably visit more often.”

According to the agreement, signed last month by foreign ministers U Wunna Maung Lwin for Myanmar and General Tanasak Patimapragon for Thailand, Myanmar passport holders can enter Thailand by air to stay for up to 14 days.

Myanmar passport holders can already enter six other ASEAN countries without a visa: Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Indonesia, the Philippines and Brunei.

Source: Myanmar Times

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