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Domestic travel heats up as reopening plans unfurl across Kingdom

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Tourists visit Ochheuteal Beach in Preah Sihanouk province. Yousos Apdoulrashim

Domestic travel heats up as reopening plans unfurl across Kingdom

Holidaymakers made 174,543 domestic trips across Cambodia during the first weekend of the month, from November 6-7, a week after the government ordered the full resumption of socio-economic activities, with Preah Sihanouk province ranking as the top destination, according to the Ministry of Tourism.

The ministry noted that 169,532 Cambodians and 5,011 foreign residents visited Phnom Penh (35,210) and the provinces of Preah Sihanouk (37,641), Kampot (16,501), Siem Reap (15,100) and Pursat (10,447).

The remaining 20 provinces saw 59,644 visitors over the two days, each with fewer than 10,000.

Minister of Tourism Thong Khon said the flow of domestic tourists remains active every weekend, even without national holidays.

“Tourism resorts and destinations across the country have reopened to travellers, while tourism businesses that had been suspended in the past are also preparing to receive sightseers as well as tourists during the upcoming Water Festival,” he said.

He observed that in pursuance of Covid-19 prevention, business owners and tourists are more aware of the various guidelines, especially the “three do’s and three don’t’s”, and actively practice and advocate for them.

This behavioural pattern is in line with the ongoing push by the Phnom Penh and provincial administrations and tourism departments for adherence with tourism safety measures and minimum standard operating procedures (SOP) at all business establishments, he said.

Cambodia Association of Travel Agents president Chhay Sivlin told The Post that the private tourism sector is ready to restart, in terms of human resources as well as tourism products and entertainment venues that comply with the tourism safety rules and minimum SOP.

The sector has begun to show clearer signs of a revival after a sharp decline during Covid-19, starting with domestic tourism, she said.

“This growth will be even more positive as the Cambodian government has now fully reopened the economy,” Sivlin said.

She added that the growth in domestic tourism will be even greater when the Kingdom reopens to fully vaccinated foreign tourists.

The Kingdom has announced plans to start reopening to fully-jabbed foreign tourists from the end of this month.

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