Sept. 15 (Xinhua) — Myanmar is planning to upgrade and open the existing Muse border point with China’s Ruili as an international entry and exit gate as the second phase of boosting tourism following those with Thailand, Myanmar Minister of Immigration and Population U Khin Yi told Xinhua at a press conference here Sunday.
“It can be possible within two to three months ,” Khin Yi said.
Foreign visitors holding valid passport and visa will be allowed to enter and exit Myanmar through the Muse gate like Yangon, Mandalay and Nay Pyi Taw international airports, he said.
Previously, Muse border point stands as a gate for foreign visitors to enter across border and exit from the same point holding temporary border pass. The same applies to Myanmar citizens.
As the first phase of transforming border gates into international entry and exit gates, Myanmar opened on Aug. 28 four entry and exit gates on the Myanmar-Thai border, namely Tachileik- Maesai, Myawaddy-Maesot, Tiki-Sunarong and Kawthoung-Ranong. There are 16 border points of Myanmar with neighboring countries.
Myanmar grants different categories of visa, namely Entry Visa, Diplomatic Visa, Gratis Official Courtesy Visa, Tourist Visa, Business visa, Transit Visa and Multiple Journey Special Re-entry Visa.
In 2012, the number of tourist arrival reached 1.02 million, an increase of 200,000 compared with 2011’s 820,000 due to the significant changes in Myanmar during the year. Myanmar targets 2 million in 2013 and up to 3 million in 2014.
It is assumed possible that many foreign visitors would visit Myanmar to attend the 27th Southeast Asian Games at the end of this year and the ASEAN Summit and other related summits next year.
Moreover, Myanmar authorities have also granted visa-on-arrival for visitors from 48 countries. Foreign investment in the hotels and tourist sector amounted to 1.585 billion U.S. dollars, standing the fifth largest sector in foreign investment as of July 2013, according to official statistics.