Foreign exchange earnings through tourism increased from $534 million in 2012 to $926 million in 2013 and it is projected to reach over $1 billion in 2014."
Yangon, Sep 1 - Myanmar immigration authorities Monday introduced online e-visa in a bid to boost tourism in the country.
The formal launch of the e-visa came after a trial period in August for a limited number of applicants, Xinhua reported.
The system will ensure all tourists destined to Myanmar get e-visa within five days.
According to hotel and tourist authorities, the number of tourist arrivals in Myanmar reached 1.6 million in the first seven months of this year, up 43 percent from the same period last year.
Since the civilian government took office in 2011, tourist arrivals in Myanmar remarkably grew from 1.06 million in 2012 to 2.04 million in 2013 and the target now is three million tourists in 2015 and over seven million by 2020 under the 2013-20 Myanmar main tourist project.
Of the foreign visitors, those from Asia accounted for 70 percent with others from Europe, America, Africa and the Middle East also growing.
Myanmar's tourist development is also highlighted by the visit of foreign tourists to the worldv famous Shwedagon Pagoda and the number of visitors to the pagoda reached 245,586 in the first half of 2014, up 30,000 from the same period of last year.
Foreign exchange earnings through tourism increased from $534 million in 2012 to $926 million in 2013 and it is projected to reach over $1 billion in 2014.
The World Travel and Tourism Council said Myanmar's hotel and tourist sector currently contributes 3.7 percent to the country's gross domestic product (GDP), estimating that the percentage could reach 9.5 percent by the end of 2014.