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French chamber supports tourism sector subsidies

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The Ministry of Tourism introduced seven measures to support tourism, which has been affected by the Covid-19 outbreak. Heng Chivoan

French chamber supports tourism sector subsidies

The French Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FCCI) in Cambodia has endorsed the government’s measures to address a decline in tourist numbers in Siem Reap.

In late February, the Ministry of Tourism introduced seven measures to support the tourism sector, which has been affected by the Covid-19 outbreak.

The FCCI on Monday welcomed the introduction of measures to address tourism issues in Siem Reap, such as a four-month tax exemption on guesthouses and hotels.

“These measures are welcome in view of the recent drop in tourist numbers after several months of slow decline affecting one of the pillars of the Cambodian economy, a source of hundreds of thousands of jobs and many businesses operated by French and European nationals.

“This temporary support needs to be part of an overall policy to revive Cambodia, a destination that is too often linked solely to the Angkor temples, notably through appropriate marketing and incentives for the development of tourism infrastructure outside Siem Reap to make Cambodia a destination in itself,” it said.

On February 26, the ministry announced that, in addition to these measures, Cambodia will improve the efficiency of joint travel by land, water and air, especially with neighbouring countries, by resolving challenges at the Cross Border Service.

The ministry and other relevant ones will launch tourism events in Siem Reap, such as Angkor Sangkran 2020, festivals, religious festivals, sporting events, concerts, screenings and fashion shows to attract national and international tourists.

The cost of the Angkor Wat tickets is fixed, but adding the number of days for each type of ticket, with one day upped to two days, three days to five days and seven days to 10 days, is aimed at attracting more tourists.

Figures from the ministry show that last year, Cambodia received a total of 6.6 million international tourists, an increase of 6.6 per cent.

However, the FCCI in said based on figures from Cambodia Airports, French-speaking tourist arrivals had fallen by 11.5 per cent last year in Siem Reap, or nearly 25,000 fewer potential customers than in 2018.

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