After much havoc caused by the Super Typhoon Yolanda earlier, finally there is some good news for the people from this region - Filipino visitors may now visit Myanmar without a visa! This agreement was formalised by both countries during the state visit of Myanmar President Thein Sein in the Philippines on 5th December 2013.
What is the agreement truly about, you may wonder? It allows people from the Philippines to enjoy visa-free access to Myanmar for 14 days, be it for business or leisure purposes. If you do not know this already, Myanmar citizens are allowed to enter the Philippines without needing a visa for 30 days since 1960 (under Executive Order 408). That makes Myanmar one of the 25 countries that Filipinos can enter visa-free.
Obviously, the visa exemption is aimed to improve the tourism in Myanmar. Even though Myanmar is a country which is rich of tourist attractions, she is unfortunate enough to have the lowest number of tourists in ASEAN. According to the ASEAN Tourism Statistics database, there were only about 816, 400 tourists visiting Myanmar in 2011. That figure was only about one fifth of the tourists who went to the Philippines in the same year.
Other joint agreements were also signed in order to boost cooperation in other sectors like agriculture, commerce, communication, energy, tourism and trade. The reason is pretty straightforward – to reinforce the collaboration in various aspects of economic growth by the two countries.
If you are planning to contribute to Myanmar's economy and not sure if you need a visa to visit, you can always check out our Myanmar visa requirement page.