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Airline says ready for green light to reopen international tourism

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Sky Angkor Airline says it is ready to bring South Korean and Chinese tourists to Cambodia once the country reopens its borders to vaccinated travellers. SKY ANGKOR

Airline says ready for green light to reopen international tourism

Sky Angkor Airline Co Ltd on September 21 said it is ready to transport South Korean and Chinese tourists to the Kingdom once the Cambodian government makes good on plans to reopen its borders to vaccinated travellers.

The Siem Reap-based airline made the remark during a courtesy call on Thong Khon in response to the Minister of Tourism’s request to be ready to resume passenger flights as soon as Prime Minister Hun Sen announces a reopening to international travel.

The announcement is expected in the near future, Khon said, adding that reopening plans would take what he termed a “safe tourism” approach.

Citing the prime minister, Khon said visitors must undergo a seven-day quarantine at specific tourist destinations that are not linked to a Covid-19 outbreak.

Sky Angkor general manager Koo Taeoh said that once the prime minister has given the green light, CEO Mak Rady would work with South Korean and Chinese tour agencies to promote tourism to the Kingdom.

He also mentioned investment plans for new tourism products in the Siem Reap-Angkor area that would translate into more international travellers visiting the World Heritage Site.

Founded in 2010 and launching its inaugural flight in June 2011, Sky Angkor operated domestic flights from the capital to Siem Reap and Sihanoukville, as well as direct flights to Vietnam, Japan, South Korea, India, mainland China and Taiwan.

The number of foreign tourists entering Cambodia through the Kingdom’s three international airports witnessed a sharp 92.5 per cent year-on-year decline in the first seven months of this year, according to the Ministry of Tourism.

The airports handled 51,729 international tourists in the January-July period versus the 693,064 logged in the same period last year, ministry data revealed on September 3.

Phnom Penh and Sihanouk international airports recorded 43,909 and 7,816 foreign holidaymakers, respectively, plunging by 88.7 per cent and 87.5 per cent.

Siem Reap International Airport saw just four visitors, marking a nearly 100 per cent drop.

Of note, international tourist arrivals by air, land and waterways during the seven-month period ended July 31 cratered by 90.6 per cent to 112,544, from 1.2 million a year earlier.

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