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Siem Reap room crunch

Siem Reap room crunch

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.

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