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Mending fences: Tourism minister to Thai border

Mending fences: Tourism minister to Thai border

Mending fences
In an attempt to foster tourism on the Cambodia-Thai border, tourism officials this week visited the Cham Yeam border crossing in Koh Kong province.

Warming relations with Thailand’s newly elected Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra are expected to improve cross-border tourism, which deteriorated after border clashes in Preah Vihear province earlier this year, Minister of Tourism Thong Khon said on Monday.

“Since the new Thai gov-ernment was elected, we have seen an increase in Thai tourists and other international tourists entering Cambodia,” he said.

Unofficial visa fees collected at border crossings, however, still hinder a potent-ially large tourism market in the region.

Some officials said the bilking of cash from foreign tourists decreases the amount of visitors staying in the province’s seven hotels and 19 guesthouses.

“We want [the immigration police] to be professional when dealing with tourists. We want them to facilitate tourism, not become a barrier to it,” Minister Thong Kong said.

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