Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Kingdom, Maldives mull reciprocal direct air links

Kingdom, Maldives mull reciprocal direct air links

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Maldivian ambassador Mohamed Jinah (left) and tourism minister Thong Khon at Tuesday’s meeting. SUPPLIED

Kingdom, Maldives mull reciprocal direct air links

Cambodia and the Maldives are considering launching direct flights between the two countries to promote travel, tourism cooperation and other forms of mutual support, as well as provide a well-needed boost to the beleaguered hospitality industry after two years of Covid-19, according to the tourism ministry.

Minister of Tourism Thong Khon on April 26 met with the newly-minted Maldivian ambassador to Cambodia with residence in Bangkok, Mohamed Jinah, at the tourism ministry, the Cabinet-level agency said in a statement on April 27.

The two sides discussed strengthening mutual support between the two countries and laying the foundation for a stronger degree of tourism collaboration down the road, especially within the framework of the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO).

Jinah lauded Cambodia for its effectiveness in managing the Covid-19 pandemic, saying the vaccination campaign would remain the key to its economic recovery. He underscored the importance of the Kingdom’s role as the rotating chair of ASEAN, as well as its general position in the region, according to the statement.

The minister suggested that the overall situation in Cambodia had improved to near pre-pandemic normalcy, and said that the Kingdom would keep its focus on effectively controlling Covid-19, using community herd immunity as a key strategy for the resumption of economic activities.

“Socio-economic and tourism activities have also started back up in the ‘new normal’, although some safety measures continue to be implemented.

“Cambodia already accepts fully-vaccinated tourists, who need only show a vaccination card to … [enter the country] and apply for a visa-on-arrival.

“Cambodia is leading the way in reopening to international tourists, and the number of international travellers visiting Cambodia growing, as domestic tourism picks up as well,” the statement quoted him as saying.

The minister said the Kingdom is “ready” for the return of foreign holidaymakers, arguing that the government has developed a suite of infrastructure during the Covid-19 era to support the tourism industry, including networks of roads in Siem Reap and Preah Sihanouk provinces.

“We encourage reciprocal flights. Although the Maldives is a small country, it boasts numerous islands, so at a later date we could go learn from and experience the development of the country’s islands, and then develop islands in Cambodia,” Khon said.

The statement said that the two sides also agreed to draft a bilateral memorandum of understanding (MoU) on tourism cooperation and were “ready” to sign an Air Service Agreement “in the near future” to further cement tourism ties between the two countries.

Khon also revealed that Cambodia aims to host the joint meeting of the UNWTO Commission for East Asia and the Pacific in 2023, which the Kingdom is discussing with the UN agency, the statement said, adding that the Maldivian ambassador voiced support for the endeavour.


  • ‘Education’ a priority traffic-law penalty

    A top National Police official on June 21 neither rejected nor confirmed the authenticity of a leaked audio message, which has gone viral on social media, on a waiver of fines for a number of road traffic-related offences. General Him Yan, deputy National Police chief in

  • Pursat Ford assembly plant opens

    The Kingdom’s first Ford assembly plant was inaugurated on June 16 in Pursat province amid rising demand for brand-new vehicles among Cambodians. The facility is seen as a game changer for the domestic automobile industry, which could bring a wave of investors seeking to cash

  • Siem Reap’s $18M zoo said to educate public, help wildlife

    Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium Co Ltd has invested $18 million in a zoo in Siem Reap province, which will be opened in October to educate and promote animal conservation as well as attract national and international tourists. Currently, the Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium is building the

  • Volunteer scheme to foster ‘virtuous’ humanitarian spirit

    A senior education official said volunteer work contributes to solidarity and promotes a virtuous humanitarian spirit among the youth and communities. Serei Chumneas, undersecretary of state at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, made the comment during the opening of a training programme called “

  • Angkor photo rules clarified

    The Apsara National Authority (ANA) denied that it had banned the use of camera tripods in the Angkor Archaeological Park, explaining that the confusion stemmed from a long-standing rule which required commercial photographers and videographers to apply for permission to film. The explanation followed a

  • $50B infrastructure plan en route

    The government’s upcoming $50 billion,10-year infrastructure master plan will provide tremendous investment opportunities for domestic and foreign entities, transport experts and economists say. Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol revealed the plan to Japanese ambassador to Cambodia Masahiro Mikami on June 15. At