More than 80 per cent of rooms at major overnight tourist-oriented accommodations have been booked for the New Year’s weekend as of December 27, Minister of Tourism Thong Khon reported.

Without providing concrete figures, the minister noted that the rates were highest in Kep, Kampot and Mondulkiri provinces, followed by a second tier comprising Preah Sihanouk, Koh Kong, Siem Reap, Battambang and Ratanakkiri.

He said the Phnom Penh Municipal Administration and its provincial counterparts were busy decorating the Kingdom’s urban areas to welcome visitors for the upcoming festivities, especially countdown events at key locations.

Khon again called on tour operators, private businesses and tourists to participate in the strict implementation of tourism safety rules and standard operating procedure (SOP) to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Kampot provincial Department of Tourism director Soy Sinol, on the other hand, told The Post on December 28 that 80 per cent of rooms in bungalows, resorts and large hotels in the province had been booked for the holidays, but noted that smaller guesthouses and hotels still had many vacancies.

Meanwhile, Preah Sihanouk provincial Department of Tourism director Taing Sochet Kresna said three-, four- and five-star hotels and other major accommodations on the province’s islands had been fully booked for the most part, but that there are still vacancies at smaller hotels and guesthouses.

He pointed out that 90 per cent of guests were Cambodians, although foreign residents accounted for much of the remainder.

Cambodia Association of Travel Agents president Chhay Sivlin underlined that a substantial share of locals were interested in taking a trip for the New Year’s, buoying bookings at accommodations in tourism hotspots such as Preah Sihanouk, Kep, Kampot, Siem Reap and Mondulkiri.

“As far as I know, the coastal provinces and northeast tourist destinations – home of superb services – are fully booked,” she said.

She stressed that the upswing in reservations augurs well for the Cambodian tourism industry, translates into revenue for related businesses and imparts a strong impetus for local economies to resume in the post-Covid era.

The tourism minister reported that holidaymakers made 253,621 domestic trips across the Kingdom from December 25-26, up by 24.7 per cent over the previous weekend. Cambodians and foreign residents accounted for 242,986 and 10,635 trips, Khon said.