F lying to Siem Reap via Kampuchea Airlines has been upgraded by the Cambodian
Government which has introduced a French aircraft to replace the old Russian
The 70 seat ATR 72 will now make three roundtrip flights daily
between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, with one-way flight times reduced to 40
The new service started on Jan. 6 and marked the beginning of
an all round commitment to improve tourist-related
Announcing the new plane at a press conference, Tourism
Minister Veng Sereyvuth spoke of other proposals aimed at boosting Cambodia's
According to Sereyvuth, attention will be given to
streamlining visa processing, enhancing security and training people for work in
Given the problem of issuing visas overseas,
the minister said he had proposed the government allow free two week visas on
arrival for all tourists.
Following the example of other countries, the
minister said Cambodia should be more realistic. "If you want to go to Thailand
you don't need a visa," he said.
Sereyvuth believes free visas would open
up Cambodia to most countries and would not need reciprocal
He also wants to simplify the visa issuing process at
If, eventually, there are going to be one or two or three
thousand tourists coming into Pochentong Airport every day there is no way to
process visas, said Sereyvuth.
He said about 120,000 tourists visited
Cambodia last year but that figure is due to increase "50 per cent by 1994 and
100 per cent by 1995."
Concerning security for tourists traveling on
roads such as Route 4, leading to seaside resorts, the minister confirmed the
government will soon take specific measures to ensure safety is
In addition, Sereyvuth said urgent repairs are needed on roads
around the Angkor temple complex and the route linking Siem Reap town to the
The great lake is another tourist attraction and the Minister
said the area could be exploited by setting up resorts along the lake's
A vital aspect of getting the most from tourism is educating
people to work in the industry especially at a time when the demand is growing
Sereyvuth, who is also a member of the Council of Ministers,
said he wanted the Ministry of Education to develop tourism education
In a few years as the number of tourists increases to a
projected half a million or one million, thousands of workers will be needed to
service the industry, said the minister. "So we have to prepare it from now," he
On his recent visit to Malaysia the minister discovered ways
the government there exploits wood as a tourist attraction.
government says it does not export wood as logs but makes it into products such
as furniture. It is presented to visitors as being something unique and
"That difference really attracts a lot of attention from
tourists," explained the minister.
He said: "If we can do that in
Cambodia we will do it in our own traditional way. That is really something that
we should look at or even copy."
For this, Sereyvuth said he believes it
would be better if the government had foreign factories in Cambodia use logs to
build hotels and furniture instead of sending wood overseas.
help more people have jobs and money. "At the same time we are looking into
making resorts from wood," added the minister.