Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Cruise tourists on rise, but benefits are scant

Cruise tourists on rise, but benefits are scant

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Sihanoukville Autonomous Port in the first four months of this year received 30 international tourism cruises, up 57.89 per cent compared with the same period last year, bringing 29,111 international tourists, up 78.25 per cent. Photo supplied

Cruise tourists on rise, but benefits are scant

While international tourist arrivals by cruise ship have increased every year at Sihanoukville Autonomous Port (SAP), Cambodia does not appear to be benefitting much from such visitors, the Ministry of Tourism has said.

Speaking at a meeting on “Coordination of Travel, Tourist and Traveller Transport in Border Areas and International Border Checkpoints” on Wednesday, under-secretary of state at the Ministry of Tourism Hor Sarun said tourists to Cambodia on cruises do not have the opportunity to travel far from the port due to inadequate aviation infrastructure.

“Most tourists want to visit some of the islands or take a plane to visit the temples of Angkor Wat, returning in the evening to board their cruises in time to depart. But it’s difficult because tourist ships don’t have specific arrival times and flights are irregular.”

SAP director-general Lou Kim Chhun said at the meeting that the number of cruise ships docking at Sihanoukville port has increased gradually from year to year.

According to Kim Chhun, in the first four months of this year SAP received 30 international tourism cruises, up 57.89 per cent compared with the same period last year, bringing 29,111 international tourists, an increase of 78.25 per cent.

Last year the port received 37 ships, up 23.33 per cent on 2017’s 30. The 37 ships brought 40,598 international tourists, a rise of 58.97 per cent, he said.

Kim Chhun said cruise ships docked at the port for around 15 hours on average.

Minister of Tourism Thong Khon said the issues required the participation of stakeholders and the private sector. He called on relevant parties to hold an emergency meeting with all stakeholders to work together in resolving the issues.

“This is not only a chance for Cambodia to capture large groups of international tourists, but also an opportunity to host the Asean Summit in 2022,” he said.

Cambodia Association of Travel Agents president Chhay Sivlin expressed her hope that the Kingdom would be able to attract cruise ship passengers to other tourist attractions, especially Angkor Wat.

“Cruise tourists are considered to be rich and have lots of free time, so if we can make it easier for them, Cambodia will be able to enjoy a lot of benefits from them,” she said.

International tourists to the Kingdom numbered 6.2 million last year, up 11 per cent from 2017, with Chinese tourists topping the list for the second consecutive year.

MOST VIEWED

  • School reopening to be postponed until November

    Minister of Education Hang Chuon Naron on Tuesday wrote to Prime Minister Hun Sen requesting a delay of school reopening across the Kingdom until November, when the new academic year begins. In his letter, Chuon Naron said the postponement is warranted to avoid the new

  • Foreigners in Kingdom must now register in FPCS system

    The Ministry of Interior’s General Department of Immigration (GDI) announced that it would not grant visa extensions to foreigners staying in Cambodia if their names are not listed on the Foreigners Present in Cambodia System (FPCS) by July 1. Foreign nationals can register in the

  • Covid-19 at ‘alarming rate’, health ministry says

    The Covid-19 risk level for individual transmission is at an “alarming rate” in the Kingdom and its probability is “not low”, warned Health Ministry spokesperson Or Vandine. “Cambodia’s coronavirus scenario is classified as being at an early stage of the pandemic because of ongoing

  • Mandatory quarantine for 30,000 workers begins

    Some of the roughly 30,000 workers from factories and enterprises across the Kingdom who went on leave during Khmer New Year began their government-imposed 14-day quarantine on Monday. Speaking at a press conference while visiting workers at the Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone on Monday, Ministry

  • Unemployed to get $40 per month

    The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training has instructed enterprises, business owners and travel agencies in five provinces to prepare the proper forms for the suspension of employment contracts. This, it said, will make it easier for the ministry to transfer $40 a month to workers

  • Gov’t travel ban flouted

    While the majority of Cambodians have paid heed to Prime Minister Hun Sen’s order to stay put and not travel during the Khmer New Year – the holidays of which were also postponed – several hundred have left Phnom Penh nonetheless. They have allegedly breached provincial

  • G20 energy ministers struggle to finalise oil output cuts

    Top oil producers struggled to finalise production cuts during a virtual summit held by Group of 20 (G20) energy ministers on Friday, despite US President Donald Trump’s mediation efforts to end a standoff with Mexico. The final G20 communique appeared to gloss over simmering divisions

  • Kingdom revises travel restriction order

    The government on Friday eased the district and provincial border restrictions issued on Thursday. People are now allowed to cross districts within their provinces. Phnom Penh and Kandal province are to be treated as a single region where people are allowed to travel freely. In

  • Private schools struggling

    The Cambodian Higher Education Association has claimed that 113 private educational establishments are facing bankruptcy because of their inability to pay rent and staff salaries in light of nationwide school closures caused by the Covid-19 outbreak. It said the financial trouble started when the Ministry of

  • Khmer New Year holidays postponed

    In an effort to halt Covid-19 infections in the Kingdom, Prime Minister Hun Sen has postponed the Khmer New Year holidays scheduled from April 13 to 16. While the people will not have their usual break, nor will there be any public celebrations or gatherings at pagodas,