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Siem Reap calls on businesses to apply for Covid-19 SOP audit

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Siem Reap province is gearing up to welcome fully-vaccinated international tourists. Heng Chivoan

Siem Reap calls on businesses to apply for Covid-19 SOP audit

Siem Reap provincial authorities called on owners of hotels, accommodation services, beer gardens and tourism-related businesses to apply for a “new normal” Minimum Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) compliance audit, as the province gears up to welcome vaccinated tourists.

The Siem Reap Provincial Administration said in a November 22 statement that owners of these businesses must apply at the provincial Department of Tourism for the audit before accepting travellers.

The administration also instructed them to obtain a valid tourism business licence at the provincial hall or the Ministry of Tourism’s One Window Service Office.

Neither Siem Reap Provincial Administration spokesman Ly Samrith nor provincial Department of Tourism director Ngov Sengkak could be reached for comment on November 23.

Pacific Asia Travel Association Cambodia chapter chairman Thourn Sinan acknowledged the announcement, but noted that many hotels, guesthouses and tourism businesses have already opened their doors, even during lockdown.

He said on November 23: “The entire country is reopening now – the Siem Reap administration’s announcement should have been made much sooner, and not as late as it was.

“Coming out now, it is not useful. It is not befitting at all.”

Pov Makara, general manager of Hotel Phila Siem Reap, told The Post that the management “had not received” the provincial administration’s latest statement, but said the hotel and guests are abiding by the Ministry of Health’s Covid measures.

The hotel had a large number of guests stay during the Water Festival holiday, he said, noting that the occupancy rate dipped afterwards.

He expects hotels and tourism businesses to normalise after the government reopens the country to international tourists, which he said will provide income to businesses and locals.

Makara shared that he had applied for a massage business licence and had received a letter, but that authorities had yet to conduct an inspection.

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