Guide Direk, the Kingdom’s first tour guide booking app, was launched by local travel agency Matong Co Ltd on Friday to assist tour guides in finding more clients, the agency’s CEO Khim Maland said.
Maland, who is also the app’s executive director, said during its launch that it will allow both domestic and international tourists to book a guided tour.
“I see that tour guides depend on travel agents and tour companies, so we tried to set up a booking app for them,” he said.
Maland said Guide Direk will also help attract more foreign tourists to Cambodia.
“We hope that after launching this app, foreigners will not only visit Siem Reap province but also come and visit throughout Cambodia as we also try to promote other destinations,” he said.
Sath Khna, an English-language tour guide in Phnom Penh, hopes the app will assist guides like him so that they will not have to depend entirely on travel agents.
“In the past, guests came via tour operators. They managed everything, including tour guides, coaches and food stalls.
“But if they can book through this app, the money will come directly into our [tour guides’] accounts. I think this app will find more clients for both new and existing tour guides,” he said.
Khmer Angkor Tour Guide Association president Khieu Thy told The Post that the Guide Direk app will help boost the tour guide market and Cambodia’s tourism products internationally.
“I think that Guide Direk will help promote our tourism products to the world because the app is not only for tour guide services, but it will help promote the tourism sector as a whole,” he said.
According to Thy, there are 5,000 tour guides in the Kingdom, of which about 3,000 have valid licences to work in tourism.
In the first half of this year, 1.24 million foreign tourists purchased tickets to Angkor Archaeological Park, down more than eight per cent compared with the same period last year.
Ticket sales revenue fell by about nine per cent to $55 million.
The Ministry of Tourism last week launched the app “Kingdom of Wonder” to promote the Kingdom’s tourism sector digitally.
Kingdom of Wonder contains comprehensive tourism information, including destinations, events, maps, flights, weather, restaurants, accommodation, domestic transportation, and other important information for visitors to Cambodia.