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Ministry seeks to reduce red tape at airports, borders

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Minister of Tourism Thong Khon. Heng Chivoan

Ministry seeks to reduce red tape at airports, borders

The Ministry of Tourism said it is working with the relevant bodies to reduce red tape at airports and international border checkpoints.

The ministry said the move aimed to ease transit, especially for international tourists, by removing unnecessary and complicated formalities.

The Ministry of Tourism said on Sunday that it would collaborate with the Ministries of Interior and Economy and Finance regarding the changes.

International tourists will be required to fill out only one departure-arrival and visa application form in Khmer, English and Chinese under the new procedures, the Ministry of Tourism said.

They will not need to fill out another form on their return.

Cambodians with e-passports working abroad will not be required to fill out the new form, it added.

“Tourists driving their vehicles into Cambodia can fill out a summary declaration form for temporary entry and exit at international border checkpoints,” the ministry said.

Chuk Chumno, the director of the ministry’s Department of Tourism Product Development, said the move was aimed at making transit easier for tourists and turn Cambodia into a more attractive place to visit.

He said the changes were introduced as part of plans to attract more tourists to the Kingdom and not because of any criticism.

“The Ministry of Tourism regularly cooperates with relevant sectors to establish policies to increase the number of tourists entering Cambodia. Making travel easier is something that needed to be [looked at],” Chumno said.

For the first six months of this year, more than 3.6 million tourists visited the Kingdom. This was an increase of 11 per cent on the same period last year.

John Coster, 53, who has visited Cambodia trice, said on Monday that it was good to see the government looking at the issues facing tourists.

He said it usually took him between 15 and 40 minutes to fill out the existing forms.