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Siem Reap tourism hit by Thai protests

Siem Reap tourism hit by Thai protests

TOURISM officials said Thursday that flight cancellations caused by the recent political unrest in Thailand have cost the Kingdom nearly 500 international tourist arrivals per day.

Mobs with the pro-monarchy People's Alliance for Democracy on Tuesday stormed Suvarnabhumi International Airport and on Thursday closed Don Mueang Airport in Bangkok, prompting airport officials to cancel all departing flights.

Ho Vandy, president of the Cambodia Association of Travel Agents, said as many as 500 tourist arrivals would be lost by the disruptions in Bangkok, which would affect travel agencies, hotels and other related services.

"The question is who will share responsibility for the loss," he said.

Luu Meng, president of the Cambodian Hotel Association, said the loss of international tourists could put a squeeze on the Kingdom's hotel sector.

"If the problems in Bangkok continue, some hotels in Siem Reap will be without guests," he said.

He added that flight cancellations had left some travellers in Siem Reap without a return flight, and others in Bangkok without service to the Angkor temple town, a key tourist hub.

"Phnom Penh hotels have not been impacted much, but Siem Reap could sustain a big impact," he said.

Kao Sivorn, director of Cambodia's State Secretariat for Civil Aviation, said between eight and 10 flights from Bangkok to Siem Reap have been cancelled since Suvarnabhumi was occupied by protesters.

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