Myanmar tops list of fastest-growing travel destinations

The ancient Buddhist temples in Bagan are among Myanmar’s top attractions © Arno Maierbrugger

Myanmar scored highest in a list of the world’s ten fastest-growing travel destinations in 2019, a new report by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) shows. Based on tourist arrival growth rates, Myanmar topped the ranking list with a year-on-year increase of 40.2 per cent in 2019, followed by Puerto Rico with 31.2 per cent and Iran with 27.9 per cent.

Vietnam and the Philippines were also doing well, ranking seventh and eighth, respectively, on the list.

“This is good news for Myanmar, and we need to keep this momentum going for many more years,” said Myanmar Tourism Marketing chairwoman May Myat Mon Win.

Contributing to the success was the fact that Myanmar’s government introduced new regulations to facilitate easier access for tourists to visit the country. Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Macau and some Southeast Asian countries were granted visa-free entry.

Easier entry through visa-on-arrival and e-visa

Furthermore, Indian and Chinese nationals from the mainland and other countries (Australia, Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Russia, Spain and Switzerland) were granted visa-on-arrival.

Citizens of more than 100 countries are meanwhile eligible for a Myanmar e-visa and can get an approval letter within three days.

However, this year will likely prove to be more challenging and the coronavirus epidemic. Travel from China is currently on hold due to the suspension of tour package sales in China, while many airline services have been temporarily cancelled.

To keep up the momentum and win back business interrupted by the virus crisis, the Myanmar Tourism Marketing said it will launch a “Green Season” campaign from May to the end of September with the support hotels, airlines and tour operators.

The ten fastest growing travel destinations in 2019 in terms of arrival numbers (Source: UNWTO)

1. Myanmar 40.2%
2. Puerto Rico 31.2%
3. Iran 27.9%
4. Uzbekistan 27.3%
5. Montenegro 21.4%
6. Egypt 21.1%
7. Vietnam 16.2%
8. Philippines 15.1%
9. Maldives 14.9%
10. Bahamas 14.6%

The ancient Buddhist temples in Bagan are among Myanmar's top attractions © Arno Maierbrugger Myanmar scored highest in a list of the world’s ten fastest-growing travel destinations in 2019, a new report by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) shows. Based on tourist arrival growth rates, Myanmar topped the ranking list with a year-on-year increase of 40.2 per cent in 2019, followed by Puerto Rico with 31.2 per cent and Iran with 27.9 per cent. Vietnam and the Philippines were also doing well, ranking seventh and eighth, respectively, on the list. “This is good news for Myanmar, and we...

The ancient Buddhist temples in Bagan are among Myanmar’s top attractions © Arno Maierbrugger

Myanmar scored highest in a list of the world’s ten fastest-growing travel destinations in 2019, a new report by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) shows. Based on tourist arrival growth rates, Myanmar topped the ranking list with a year-on-year increase of 40.2 per cent in 2019, followed by Puerto Rico with 31.2 per cent and Iran with 27.9 per cent.

Vietnam and the Philippines were also doing well, ranking seventh and eighth, respectively, on the list.

“This is good news for Myanmar, and we need to keep this momentum going for many more years,” said Myanmar Tourism Marketing chairwoman May Myat Mon Win.

Contributing to the success was the fact that Myanmar’s government introduced new regulations to facilitate easier access for tourists to visit the country. Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Macau and some Southeast Asian countries were granted visa-free entry.

Easier entry through visa-on-arrival and e-visa

Furthermore, Indian and Chinese nationals from the mainland and other countries (Australia, Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Russia, Spain and Switzerland) were granted visa-on-arrival.

Citizens of more than 100 countries are meanwhile eligible for a Myanmar e-visa and can get an approval letter within three days.

However, this year will likely prove to be more challenging and the coronavirus epidemic. Travel from China is currently on hold due to the suspension of tour package sales in China, while many airline services have been temporarily cancelled.

To keep up the momentum and win back business interrupted by the virus crisis, the Myanmar Tourism Marketing said it will launch a “Green Season” campaign from May to the end of September with the support hotels, airlines and tour operators.

The ten fastest growing travel destinations in 2019 in terms of arrival numbers (Source: UNWTO)

1. Myanmar 40.2%
2. Puerto Rico 31.2%
3. Iran 27.9%
4. Uzbekistan 27.3%
5. Montenegro 21.4%
6. Egypt 21.1%
7. Vietnam 16.2%
8. Philippines 15.1%
9. Maldives 14.9%
10. Bahamas 14.6%

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