Myanmar Confirms the Resumption of Domestic Travel

Myanmar, domestic tourism, post COVID, recovery

Bagan (Photo: Jakub Hałun- Creative Commons)

After experiencing an extremely strict lockdown, Myanmar tourism can now welcome again domestic travellers and foreign expats. The reopening to domestic tourism is the first step in a series of measures which targets the complete reopening of the country to international travel. 

Myanmar opened all of its tourist destinations to local travellers and foreigner residents in the country since July 1st. In a second phase, the country targets to lift the ban on international flights. This second step is planned from July 31, but a recent surge in COVID cases could translate into a new postponement of the date.

For domestic travellers, all the COVID-19 restrictions on travel within Myanmar were rescinded 1 July. All tourist destinations in the country are again opened for locals and foreign residents.

Government officials reported the absence of local Covid-19 transmissions for almost a month, even earning the praise from  the World Health Organisation’s representative in Myanmar. Since March, international borders were kept closed while all popular festivals and mass gatherings have been cancelled.

Last month the Ministry of Hotels & Tourism introduced officially its Tourism National Guidelines for COVID-19 Safe Services covering transportation, accommodation, food, destinations, travel agencies, tour guides, training centres, etc. It also includes a checklist of over 50 measures that hotels must comply with when they resume the operation.

As long as the country does not allow foreign travellers, the only possibility for hotels and tourism companies to survive is to look at targeting domestic tourists. To stimulate demand, Myanmar Ministry of Hotels and Tourism launched a national campaign. “To promote the travel sector during the Covid-19 pandemic, we also need to ensure safety protocols at the destinations, and that travel costs for accommodation and transport remain affordable for domestic travellers,” was telling Myanmar Tourism Marketing chairperson, May Myat Mon Win during an interview with local newspapers.

(Source: Myanmar Tourism Board)