Phnom Penh travel agents are growing increasingly concerned that a lack of hotel
rooms in the provincial capital of Siem Reap may be insufficient to meet the rapidly
growing demand for accomodations near the fabled Angkor Wat temple complex.
According to an article in the Travel Trade Gazette tour agents are expecting the
1996 high season from November to January to be the busiest on record for travellers
headed to see the Kingdom's most important historic and cultural heritage sites.
However inbound operators are currently reporting waiting lists at around 20 percent
above room capacity.
The Gazette quotes Diethelm Travel Cambodia's Laurent Kuenzle as saying the shortage
is "serious" and "much worse than last year." Diethelm Cambodia
predicts that its inbound traffic will increase by 45 to 50 percent this year, based
on bookings picked up at travel trade shows in the previous 12 months. Figures from
the Ministry of Tourism indicate that there are about 500 rooms in Siem Reap's existing
small to mid-sized hotels, with an additional 100 rooms in quest houses frequented
by budget travellers and backpackers.
The shortage is expected to remain acute until several major hotel projects - including
the renovation of the Grand Hotel by Raffles International - come on line in 1998.