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Coastal hotels raise prices despite request from Tourism Ministry

MANY hotels in the Kingdom’s coastal areas are increasing prices for the International New Year, despite Ministry of Tourism announcements that hotels ought to avoid increasing rates.

Hotels from the K4 region of Kampot, Kep, Koh Kong, and Preah Sihanouk) provinces said they were full for the holiday, despite the temporary increase in prices. Golden Sand Hotel in Sihanoukville has been fully booked for two weeks, according to Accountant Executive Hang Vannaren.

“We’re full now, we have no room for customers,” she said. The hotel normally prices rooms at US$30, but rooms cost an extra $10 to $15 during the holiday.

“It’s not only our hotel increasing prices. Every hotel in Sihanoukville is increasing the prices as well.”

Crystal Hotel employee Samnang Makara echoed claims that seaside hotels were fully booked. “[Our hotel] is full – we cannot receive any more customers,” she said.

Ministry of Tourism director of the Tourism Industry Department Prak Chan Dara said yesterday that the ministry had urged hotels not increase prices over International New Year, celebrated on January 1, in order to boost customer satisfaction and trust in the prices.

“We announced not to increase the price on New Year’s in order to help customers feel relaxed, and come again next time,” he said.

Hotels in Kampot and Kep provinces also said they had no vacancies, with many adding they had increased prices.

Chan Rina, general manager of Brise De Kep Guesthouse, said they were fully booked from December 25. “We have no more places for guests to say,” she said, adding guests were almost entirely foreigners.

“We only increased prices by 10 percent, and it’s only during big festivals in Cambodia – on others days the price is normal,” she said.

Kampot River View guesthouse was seeing an influx of tourists, with the hotel raising prices by US$5 to $6 a night, according to employee Oeung Sophorn.

Luu Meng, president of the Cambodian Hotel Association, said the increase was mostly in coastal areas.

“There’s a simple reason they increase prices during the festival … on that day, the hotel often pays its staff double to work during the holiday,” he said.

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