YANGON, June 2 (Xinhua) -- Myanmar will grant visa-on-arrival to six more countries beginning Oct. 1 as a relaxation of restriction on entry into the country to boost tourism, according to a statement of the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism.
The six countries are Italy, Spain, Germany, Russia, Switzerland and Australia.
Visitors from these countries will be allowed to enter through three international airports -- Yangon, Mandalay and Nay Pyi Taw as well as some designated border gates by paying 50 U.S. dollars as visa fee, said the statement released late Saturday.
The timely grant of such visa is expected to draw more visitors from Europe in the open season starting October when tourist arrivals used to grow by that time.
Myanmar has granted visa exemption to Japanese and South Korean visitors as well as visa-on-arrival to travelers from China starting Oct. 1, 2018.
Tourist arrivals in Myanmar reached 1.136 million in the first three months of 2019, up 208,162 or 22.4 percent from the same period of 2018, according to the ministry's statistics.
The significant increase of the tourist arrivals during the period was attributed to the large amount of tourists from Asian countries especially China. The other countries are Thailand, South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Vietnam, India and Malaysia.
However, the number of tourists from Europe was on the decrease during the first four months of this year with 76,736, down by 2 percent from last year correspondingly.
Myanmar received 4.6 million tourists in 2015, 2.91 million in 2016, 3.44 million in 2017 and 3.55 million in 2018, and is likely to grow in 2019.