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Bangkok blast may affect local tourism

The potential spillover effects on Cambodia’s tourism industry stemming from the bomb blast in Bangkok this week has drawn a mixed response from industry insiders.

On Monday, a bomb exploded in the Thai capital at a Hindu shrine that is popular among foreign visitors. The blast killed 20 people, including tourists, and injured more than 100 others.

Ho Vandy, managing director of World Express Tours and Travel, said any downturn in Thailand’s tourism due to the bombing is likely to have short-term effect on Cambodia’s industry.

“Because the majority of tourists travel to Bangkok and Thailand as a package, a cancelled visit to Thailand will impact Cambodia,” Vandy said.

But Sinan Thourn, chairman of the Pacific Asia Travel Association, dismissed the idea of any spillover into Cambodia’s tourism sector.

“I don’t think it will have any effect on tourism in Cambodia because Bangkok is Bangkok and Cambodia is Cambodia; it’s two separate countries,” he said

Meanwhile, Cambodian authorities yesterday announced they have tightened security at local tourism hot spots following the Bangkok explosion.

“Until this hour, we have not seen any problems, but Thailand is our neighbour country, therefore we cannot ignore the situation,” Kirt Chantharith, National Police spokesman, said yesterday.

Chantharith said that an explosive device discovered yesterday near Cambodia’s largest tourism site, the Angkor Wat temple complex, was unrelated to the Bangkok bomb blast.

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