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Man about town: 11 April 2014

Man about town: 11 April 2014

Vietnamese-speaking tour guides are in big demand in Siem Reap and in fact the tourism authorities can’t get enough of them. Early in March, at a meeting convened by the governor and the Minister of Tourism for personnel from all facets of the tourism industry, an interesting paper was circulated giving data on the forthcoming requirements of tour guides skilled in various languages. These figures also gave an insight into which nationalities would drive the Siem Reap Angkor tourism market leading up to 2020.

For example, last year up until November Siem Reap required 101 Vietnamese-speaking tour guides. But this year, due to a surge in the Vietnamese market, the number of tour guides required is a considerable 971, with 1,686 needed in 2020 according to projections, when the Viet tourism numbers into Siem Reap Angkor hit 1,686,027.

In November last year 626 Chinese-speaking tourist guides were required and this year that number remains stable, with 636 required. But by 2020, 2,094 guides will be required to cater for a projected 2, 094, 143 Chinese tourists.

Korean tourist numbers surged this year with the result that while up until November last year, 187 Korean speaking-tour guides were required, this year the number is 554. Korean tourism is tipped to rise annually, but the rises are not tipped to be dramatic and 970,118 Korean tourists are expected in 2020, with 970 tour guides needed in Siem Reap to service that market segment.

In November last year, 66 Russian speaking tour guides were needed and this year that number more than doubles, to 185, with 444 such guides projected to be required in 2020.

But strange anomalies exist in the figures for English-language tour guides, of whom 1,471 were required in Siem Reap in November last year. But this year, while English-speaking tourist numbers into Cambodia are tipped to increase by about 50 per cent, the estimated requirement for English-language speaking tour guides has dropped by over 600 to 827.

The number of these tour guides needed then increases gradually to 2020 when only 1, 131 tour guides will be required to cater for more than double the number of tourists that were in in town up to November last year, when more than 1400 guides were required.

The smallest requirement is for Italian speaking tour guides – last year 26 were required, this year the figure is down by one, to 25, and in 2020 only 32 Italian-speaking tour guides will be needed.

The delightful Ravynn Coxen is back in town and immediately back into action – this afternoon at 3pm she oversees a dedication at Banteay Srei.

She spent the last few days preparing the ceremony for, “The Chaul Chhnam that the children born in the land of Angkor will dedicate to the gods and spirit of the temple of Banteay Srei and its residents. It is the ‘Legend of Thammabal and Kabel Moha Prum and his seven daughters,’depicting the origin of the head of Kbal Moha Prum being paraded around Mount Kaliash three times before the New Year by one of his seven daughters taking each year their turn on their day.”

It’s that time of year again – The Angkor Photo Festival organisers have announced that as of now they are accepting submissions for this year’s tenth annual festival, to run from November 29 to December 6.

Organisers also announce that this year they are introducing an additional submission category for a special themed projection evening. Along with the festival’s ‘open’ category, which accepts work on all topics and issues, ‘the impact project’ will seek stories on individuals, groups, or small organisations working to make a difference.

Submissions, which close on May 30, are free and open to photographers of all nationalities.


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