Employment in Siem Reap seems to be holding up despite the economic crisis and the related downturn in tourist arrivals in the city.
While anecdotal reports that some hotels are downsizing staff in the low season cannot be confirmed, Weng Aow, general manager of Angkor Palace Resort & Spa reports that there is a freeze on employing new personnel. "I am not cutting back any staff numbers, neither have I heard of any hotels doing so," he said. "Hotels are generally not replacing staff who have resigned, for obvious reasons."
Anecdotal reports show occupancy figures are low in many of the "same same" four-star hotels on Airport Road, especially hotels patronised by Korean tourists. As one hotel operator said, recent figures show a 30 percent drop in Korean custom. Staff cuts are predicted.
Many of the smaller boutique hotels are reporting excellent accommodation rates. In fact, rather than declining, hospitality sector employment prospects may have improved slightly in recent weeks with a spate of new hotel openings.
New tourism-related businesses have also been employing staff; KFC's newly opened store hired heavily recently and the swank new Nest nightspot, due to open in April, is also hiring hospitality workers.
The Angkor Golf Resort has reported a downturn in business, but not enough to lay off staff. "We're undergoing a staff freeze only," said the resort's operations manager Adam Robertson.
Korean-owned Sky Massage has cut its employees from 60 to 15, but manager Chhe Sela doesn't attribute this cut solely to worsening economic conditions.