The General Department of Taxation (GDT) asserted that there is no new tax or increase in airport tax in the aviation sector as claimed by certain media outlets which became viral on social media. However, there is an increase in passenger service charge (PSC), which was proposed by the State Secretariat for Civil Aviation (SSCA).

According to an explanation by the GDT, a state agency under the Ministry of Economy and Finance, on September 26, several comments were made on social media “by mistake” or “intentional misleads” that did not reflect GDT’s efforts and responsibility in managing tax collection in accordance with the tax law.

“It has been mentioned that there is a tax collection or increase in airport tax or airfare. This does not reflect our facts. The tax law does not specify any type of taxation in the airport. This may be a reference to the proposed increase in passenger fees of private companies that develop and manage airports,” GDT said.

It added that some of the statements on social media failed to “reflect correctness, that is, with the intention of misleading and slandering the GDT”. The department called on the public to understand the information that is disseminated to the public, to avoid receiving and sharing fallacious, fraudulent information, and to not lead others to misunderstand.

Pacific Asia Travel Association Cambodia chapter chairman Thourn Sinan told The Post on September 27 that this is a time for stakeholders to work hard and develop new strategies to boost Cambodia’s tourism sector, and to be on par with neighbouring countries’ tourism market which is showing a positive trend.

“At this stage, the government should have supportive and attractive policies to bring in more tourists and investors in order to strengthen the local economy. After that, the government can think about raising taxes, because at that time people will be able to pay more taxes,” he said, stressing that the number of foreign tourists visiting Cambodia in the first nine months of the year is “still low” compared to 2019.

According to the Ministry of Tourism, in the first eight months of 2023, Cambodia welcomed approximately 3.5 million international tourists, marking a significant increase of about 250 per cent compared to the same period in 2022. The number of domestic tourists reached around 12.4 million, boasting a growth rate of 62.5 per cent.