Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Government takes over reins of Angkor ticket sales

Government takes over reins of Angkor ticket sales

Government takes over reins of Angkor ticket sales

The Cambodian government officially took charge of the ticket sales at the Angkor Archeological Park on January 1, after Prime Minster Hun Sen announced in November an end to the Sok Kong-owned Sokimex’s control of the service.

Tourism Minister Thong Khon told the Post that a new inter-ministerial body, controlled by the Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF) and Tourism Ministry, was already in place to take over ticketing services, adding that a sub-decree to formally announce the change was expected shortly.

“Ministry of Economy and Finance has taken the job [of ticket sales] from Sokimex and the process is already under way,” he said “This new commission will supervise, control and check ticket sales.”

Since 1999, Sokimex, through its hospitality arm Sokha Hotels and Resorts, which runs hotels in Siem Reap, Sihanoukville and Phnom Penh, has sold tickets under a profit-share system with Apsara, led by Deputy Prime Minister Sok An.

Khon said the new body will continue the work of its predecessor and look to bring in reforms if any weak points are identified.

“We will just change the very top management,” the minister said. “Collections from ticket sales will be controlled by and go directly to the national treasury.”

Ho Vandy, adviser to Cambodia Chamber of Commerce, said the transition should proceed smoothly, given that the new body will pick up from where Sokimex left off.

“The body will just continue to monitor the work and the MEF will manage this with cooperation from other ministries,” he said.

Sokimex’s control of the ticketing services at the country’s most famous landmark has long been plagued by accusations of irregularities. Son Chhay, a CNRP lawmaker and chief whip, led a fact-finding mission in December 2014 to investigate the reporting and use of funds from ticket sales at Angkor Wat.

While taking back ticket sales from Sokimex was a good move, Chhay said the government needed to strengthen its data collection and tourist reporting measures to ensure that collections went to state coffers.

“I believe it is better than before,” he said. “We will closely monitor the procedures and question the related ministries asking them for documents,” he added.

“But it is already a benefit because the money that used to go to Sok Kong has stopped.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Diplomatic passports issued to foreigners to be annulled

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation will move to annul diplomatic passports issued to those not born in Cambodia. Analysts say the move may be in relation to reports that former Thai prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra used a Cambodian passport to register as

  • Hun Sen warns Irish MP of EBA ‘mistake’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Saturday told former Irish premier Enda Kenny, still a member of the EU nation’s parliament, that the 28-nation bloc should not make a “third mistake” regarding Cambodia by using the preferential Everything But Arms (EBA) agreement to “take 16 million

  • The hairy little heroes saving many lives in rural Cambodia

    IN RURAL Siem Reap province, rats dare to tread where no person will, as these hairy little heroes place their lives on the line each day for the good of the local community. The rodents are the most important members of a special team, leading

  • PM warns EU and opposition on 34th anniversary of his rule

    HUN Sen reached the milestone of 34 years as Cambodian prime minister on Monday and used the groundbreaking ceremony for a new ring road around Phnom Penh to tell the international community that putting sanctions on the Kingdom meant killing the opposition. “Please don’t forget