Prime Minister Hun Manet has advised the authorities in tourist areas across Cambodia to pay close attention to maintaining the security and safety of guests, warning them that they must not allow any tourist destination to become a place where drug crimes or human trafficking occur.

He issued the instructions while addressing the December 3 closing ceremony of the 10th Sea Festival in Keo province. The festival saw thousands of domestic and international visitors flock to the coastal province to join in the festivities.

“The authorities in all tourist areas should continue to pay close attention to maintaining security and public order. Therefore, I am encouraging them to strengthen safety in all tourist destinations. They must not permit any such locations, including beach resorts, to become havens for drug abusers, human traffickers or the perpetrators of any cross-border crimes,” he added. 

He reiterated that the new government regarded the tourist sector as one of its priorities, describing it as “green gold”. He explained that if the sector thrived, so would all others.

He made it clear that maintaining peace at any cost is the most important factor to the development of the Kingdom.

Thourn Sinan, chairman of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Cambodia Chapter, supported the instructions, noting that Manet’s calls came at a time when some tourist areas were home to discos or KTV clubs, some of which were the scene of drug abuse. He said they undermined not only Cambodia’s internal security but also its reputation. 

“Apart from this, security and safety are threatened when crimes occur in towns or tourist destinations where the dealing, use or distribution of drugs is widespread. This not only makes the Kingdom’s guests feel unsafe, but also has a detrimental effect on public morals. This is why it is crucial that the relevant authorities at all levels take urgent measures against all such cases,” he added.