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Man About Town 14-05-2010

US outreach day
Calling all Americans living, hiding out or simply passing time in Siem Reap – your embassy wants you.

The US Embassy invites all Americans to attend an Embassy Outreach Day in Siem Reap on May 20 at the Angkor Hospital for Children from 10am until noon.

An American Citizen Services spokesman said, “American consular officers, a security officer and the embassy’s medical officer will be present to answer your questions. We look forward to discussing with you your questions regarding American citizen services, immigrant and non-immigrant visas, the security environment, health related concerns and other issues.”

For queries, email or phone 023 728 000.

Hotel flooded
While the rural reaches of Siem Reap province wither under drought and the Siem Reap River dries to a record low, Hotel de la Paix’s Arts Lounge foyer flooded on Saturday.

But rather than a natural disaster, this was a self-induced special effect orchestrated by management to impress influential guests who were arriving in the evening, and also for a dinner for delegates from the Mekong Tourism Forum that was held in town on Friday and Saturday.

A speaker at the forum was Bill Black, managing director of Bangkok-based Altiva Hospitality, Hotel de La Paix’s owning company.

His presence may also explain the all-out effort for impressive special effects.

Hey big spender
Conventional wisdom in the Southeast Asian tourism trade says that the only tourists who really count are westerners because they are the ones to drop big bucks in their wake.

But this post-post-colonial-era thinking is outmoded as Chinese tourists are emerging as the new big spenders.

According to the Straits Times on May 9, Chinese tourists “have money to spend, spend, spend. Last year, they spent 298 billion yuan (US$44 billion), elbowing the French aside to take fourth place in a ranking of top international tourism spenders”.

A salesman at a Louis Vuitton store in Singapore’s Orchard district estimated that Chinese tourists spend SGD$5000 to SGDS$6000 ($3610 to $4340) each visit.



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