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Slight dip in tourism after Thai bomb blast

Slight dip in tourism after Thai bomb blast

International tourists travelling to Cambodia from Thailand declined by 10 per cent in the wake of the bomb explosion in Bangkok last month, according to a statement released by the Ministry of Tourism on Monday.

A bomb exploded on August 17 at the Erawan shrine in Bangkok, a site popular among tourists. It killed at least 20 people and injured more than 100.

According to Cambodia’s Ministry of Tourism, about 40 per cent of tourists entering Cambodia come via Thailand, either overland, by air or by sea.

The blast resulted in a temporary downturn of visitors from Thailand, the ministry said.

“Overall, there was only [a] drop of international tourists from Thailand (including Thai tourists), but tourists from other gates such as from Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, China, Korea and other gates are not seen decreased,” the statement reads.

“Indeed, the Ministry of Tourism believes that the Government of Thailand will properly manage the situation, and it has been recovering to the normal state.”

Ang Kim Eang, president of Cambodia Association of Travel Agents, said travel seems to be normal.

“Even though there is a small drop, the incident in Thailand has a small impact on this,” he said.

“There are other factors that contribute to [the decline], such as economic crisis [in Europe], MERS and changes in the world economy.”

Ticket sellers from two different bus companies that provide direct transportation between Cambodia and Thailand said that ticket sales have been low since the bombing but they could not say if there was a direct correlation.

“The passengers, foreigners and Thais that travel from Bangkok to Siem Reap dropped around 10 per cent one week after the bomb in Bangkok,” said Heng Sok Chamroen, a ticket seller for Nattakan Direct Bus from Bangkok to Siem Reap.

“However, [ticket sales are] becoming normal right now in recent weeks,” Chamroen added.

“I am not quite sure that the drop was caused by the bomb in Thailand, or if it is because since it is a rainy season people don’t travel much.”

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