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Guesthouses snapped up as KNY beckons

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An aerial view of Siem Reap town in Siem Reap province. SPM

Guesthouses snapped up as KNY beckons

More than 50 per cent of hotels, guesthouses and other accommodations in high-tourism provinces such as Siem Reap, Kep and Preah Sihanouk have been booked for the upcoming Khmer New Year holidays next week, with some seeing price increases.

In Siem Reap, nearly 70 per cent of tourist accommodations have received bookings, said Ngov Sengkak, the provincial Department of Tourism director, while announcing that there would be celebrations along the much-hyped 38 revamped roads that were inaugurated on April 4 to considerable fanfare.

He said the price of accommodations have risen to reflect the increased number of guests in one room, which unlike low season periods, more people are expected to share one room, causing rates to climb around $10 or more.

“But, don’t worry during festivals because there are lots of rooms in Siem Reap. The rates will depend on the number of guests and how they negotiate,” he said.

In coastal Kep, some 80 per cent of guest accommodations have been booked, thanks to the reopening of the country, its Department of Tourism director Som Chenda said.

While acknowledging the room rate hikes, he said it was “remarkable” that tourism businesses in all the provinces have reopened to welcome tourists.

“The trend of domestic tourists is[to visit] the coastal area connecting Kampot and Preah Sihanouk provinces. So they are likely to go to all these places,” he said.

Similarly, Preah Sihanouk provincial tourism department director Taing Sochet Kresna revealed that the beach accommodations on the islands are almost fully booked.

In some places, the price has gone up but even if the prices rose, it will not be as high as it was three or four years ago, he assured.

He added: “Usually during the festival, our people and government officials take a break, and Preah Sihanouk is a popular beach area which attracts tourists.”

Meanwhile, northeast province Mondulkiri administration spokesman Neang Vanak, who has yet to receive reports of bookings, expected a surge in visitors.

Because of the limited number of accommodations compared to other provinces, there might be a growth in room rates.

“We urged owners and operators not to increase rates but because it is a festival, it is an opportunity for them to double the price. In addition, there will be more guests in one room. As it is a free market, they can’t be stopped from jacking up prices,” Vanak said.

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