Myanmar and Vietnam travellers can visit each other’s country for 30 days without visas starting on January 1, a Ministry of Foreign Affairs official said on Tuesday.

“It will begin on January 1,” said U Aung Kyaw Zan, director general of the Consulate and Legal Department of the ministry.

Vietnam Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, who arrived in Myanmar on Tuesday, will sign the agreement.

In preparing for the visit by the Vietnamese leader, discussions were held on trips by senior officers, tourism promotion, trade and investment, according to the Office of the President.

Visa-free visits for Myanmar and Vietnam nationals will make it easier for people who want to stay longer in the other country, said tourism executives.

“Currently, the Vietnam tour is hot. Our tours are full this year,” said an official of Myanmar Myat Cherry Company.

When Vietnam started direct flights to Myanmar a few years ago, it hosted large numbers of tourists due to low costs and promotions by its airlines, according to the travel and tour agency.

Myanmar eased visa requirements for citizens of all members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, except Malaysia. Thais account for most of the tourists from ASEAN countries, followed by Vietnam.

Tourism agencies said Vietnam tour packages are very popular with Myanmar travellers, especially during the holidays.

The countries visited most often by Myanmar travellers are Thailand, Singapore and Vietnam respectively. There has also been increasing demand for tour packages to Japan, South Korea, India, and England, according to the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism. – Translated

                                                                                                                                                                                             (Zeyar Hein)