Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - President of tourism boat group defends central booking system

President of tourism boat group defends central booking system

President of tourism boat group defends central booking system

THE head of a newly formed boat tourism association has rejected the concerns of boat owners who say a new booking system has cut off direct access to customers and levied unnecessarily high fees.

During a meeting between boat owners and officials from the Ministry of Tourism and Phnom Penh Autonomous Port on Tuesday, Ly Puthy, president of the Association of Phnom Penh Water Tourist Transport, said the new body had streamlined bookings and brought order to the boat tourism trade.

“Sometimes, customers walk in, and the boat owner says they have booked [his boat] by phone when in fact they did not,” Ly Puthy said.
He added that a situation in which boat owners operate independently along Sisowath Quay could lead to heated competition.

“We want to make order for them,” he added.

The association was formed late last year and began operating on January 18.

Previously, customers could book tours through individual boat owners, but now they must contact owners through the association.

However, Hei Bavy, director general for Phnom Penh Autonomous Port, argued that a free market should prevail for boat services.

“We should follow the favour of the customers. If they want to book through calling [owners], we should follow them, and if they walk in, we can put them through each of the boats in turn,” he said. “It is a free market. We should adapt to the situation.”

Tuesday’s two-hour meeting also addressed the issue of licencing the tourism boats as a means of ensuring the safety of foreign visitors.

“Boats must have tourism licences and number plates to operate for the safety of tourists,” said Chum Iek, a secretary of state at the Ministry of Tourism.

He said the authorities would give the Association of Phnom Penh Water Tourist Transport one month to register all of its boats with the ministry.

MOST VIEWED

  • Cambodia-Thailand rail reconnected after 45 years

    A railway reconnecting Cambodia and Thailand was officially inaugurated on Monday following a 45-year hiatus, with the two kingdoms’ prime ministers in attendance at the ceremony. On the occasion, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen and Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha travelled together from Thailand’s

  • Thousands attend CNRP-organised pro-democracy vigil in South Korea

    Thousands of supporters of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) on Saturday gathered in the South Korean city of Gwangju to hold a candlelight demonstration calling for the “liberation” of democracy in Cambodia. Yim Sinorn, a CNRP member in South Korea, said on

  • US Embassy: Chinese trade does not help like the West’s

    The US Embassy in Phnom Penh on Friday said relations between China and Cambodia did not create jobs or help industry when compared to the trade between the Kingdom and the US. “About 87 per cent of trade [with China] are Chinese imports, which do not

  • The Christian NGO empowering Cambodian families in Siem Reap

    With its basketball court, football pitch, tennis court and ninja warrior water sports area, you could be forgiven for thinking that the Siem Reap campus of International Christian Fellowship (ICF) Cambodia is a sports centre. But while these free, family-friendly activities are one of the