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Gov’t says tourism recovers slightly despite pandemic

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Tourism minister Thong Khon says more than 450,000 tourists visited Cambodia during the first three weeks of June. Tourism Ministry

Gov’t says tourism recovers slightly despite pandemic

The Ministry of Tourism and the Phnom Penh municipal administration have recognised 33 tourism businesses in the capital which have consistently implemented safety measures for tourists and adhered to the code of conduct issued by the ministry.

Recently, the ministry announced that tourism businesses had to follow a code of conduct to help them recover and to protect clients against Covid-19 infections.

The municipal administration announced its findings on Monday at a review meeting to implement safe tourism measures as a first step in the Covid-19 crisis action plan.

The meeting was presided over by its Minister Thong Khon, and municipal governor Khuong Sreng, said the ministry’s Facebook page.

Ministry spokesman Top Sopheak said on Monday that the ministry had just started evaluating the safety measures and codes of conduct in the capital. The ministry will also evaluate the measures in other provinces in the future.

“The ministry will check the implementation of measures laid out by the ministry in target provinces across the country. Our main goals are Phnom Penh, and Preah Sihanouk and Siem Reap provinces, which are our biggest tourist destinations,” Sopheak said.

Khon said at the meeting that the Cambodian tourism sector had been hit hard by the Covid-19 crisis. But since May, the ministry had observed some positive signs. During the first three weeks of June, more than 450,000 tourists visited Cambodia – an increase of 7.24 per cent compared to the first three weeks of May.

But, during the first four months of this year, Phnom Penh welcomed 775,750 international tourists – a decline of 46.2 per cent compared to the same period last year.

The minister said as of May 8, tourism business people had closed 2,956 locations and temporarily suspended sales. The locations had employed 45,405 workers across the Kingdom.

He said tourism in the capital has not suffered as much as other destinations in the country. He said 124 locations (or about 10.43 per cent of tourist businesses nationwide) had been closed or suspended temporarily due to the Covid-19 crisis.

The closures and suspensions had directly affected the employment of 1,960 people (or about 9.33 per cent of the total number of staff in the sector nationwide).

However, the figure does not include workers in entertainment, spa or massage businesses which have been temporarily suspended by the government.

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