Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Tourism Industry Reels from Violence



Tourism Industry Reels from Violence

Tourism Industry Reels from Violence

Travel agents and many hoteliers said they fear the Khmer Rouge's bloody attack in

Siem Reap may have sounded the death knell for the tourism trade in Cambodia this

year.

"It's going to be purely negative," Diethelm Travel's Lilli Saxer said

of the fighting around the airport and provincial capital, which serves as the staging

point for tours to the fabled Angkor Wat temple complex.

One Austrian tourist was wounded by gunfire as he tried to reach the airport and

dozens of others took shelter with U.N. peacekeepers in underground bunkers during

the day-long rampage. At one point, Khmer soldiers advanced within 500 meters of

the landmark Grand Hotel before moving onto other areas in the town.

Before the Siem Reap attack, tour operators had already been wounded by an upsurge

of political violence including the execution of a Japanese U.N. volunteer in early

April that had tourists scrambling to cancel trips to Cambodia.

"We dont really have much work to do now," said Nongnuj Pengsupaya, manager

of East West's Phnom Penh office.

"In January and February we had lots of tourists but in April we had only 11

people. For May we had two bookings but they may cancel," she said.

Pisanu Niemjantr, executive assistant manager of the Phnom Penh Floating Hotel said

access to Angkor Wat was vital to the survival of the tourism industry in Cambodia.

"Tourism in Cambodia means Siem Reap, it means Angkor Wat," he said.

Pisanu said occupancy rates at his hotel had fallen 20 percent since February.

"That is not just tourists but businessmen as well," he said.

"I think it will be another year before the tourists come back."

Particularly hard hit by the increasing violence have been tour agents serving the

lucrative Japanese market which has almost completely dried up.

"The Japanese are always afraid and even before the killing number of Japanese

had started to drop," Nongnujsaid.

Guy Lucas, general manager of the Hotel Sofitel Cambodiana said that despite the

current difficulties he was confident in the long term future of the travel and trade

industry in Cambodia.

"Too many people want peace and life to go on to allow the situation to worsen

after the elections," he said.

"Peace is the only way and Angkor Wat represents only 12 per cent of the archeological

richness of Cambodia, not to count the untouched nature as well as an exceptional

coast on the Gulf of Siam," he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Phnom Penh unveils rules for post-lockdown transition

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Administration issued a set of detailed guidelines for the seven days to May 12 after the capital emerges from lockdown at the onset of May 6. In the 14-page document signed by municipal governor Khuong Sreng released on the evening of May 5, the

  • SBI LY HOUR Bank Launches Cross Border Money Transfer Service between Cambodia and Vietnam on RippleNet, utilizing DLT

    SBI LY HOUR Bank Plc and Hanoi-based Tien Phong Commercial Joint Stock Bank (TPBank) on Friday launched the first Cambodia-Vietnam money transfer service in real currency via RippleNet, provided by SBI Ripple Asia Co Ltd to provide safe, fast and convenient services. SBI LY HOUR

  • Cambodia ready to exit LDC status

    Cambodia is well-prepared to minimise economic risks when it graduates from its Least Developed Countries status, according to a senior official at the Ministry of Commerce on May 7. Four LDCs – Cambodia, Laos, Bangladesh and Nepal – met at a virtual workshop last week to explore potential

  • Nine US franchises eye Cambodia debut

    Nine famous US franchising companies are looking for business opportunities and expansion into Cambodia to build a footstep for a strong foundation in Southeast Asia. The US embassy in Phnom Penh, in partnership with the US Foreign Commercial Service and with support from the American

  • Nearly 2,000 detained for Phnom Penh curfew breach

    Nearly 2,000 people were detained in the capital for violating the curfew imposed by the government and Phnom Penh Municipal Administration. Municipal police spokesman San Sokseyha told The Post on May 16 that people were detained in two phases. In phase one, the government locked down Phnom

  • Jab drive announced for two more Phnom Penh districts

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Administration on May 15 announced a first-dose novel-coronavirus vaccination campaign for Boeung Keng Kang and Sen Sok districts from May 18-31, and a follow-up second-shot drive from June 1-15. Twenty vaccination sites have been set up in a combined 13 communes across both