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Tourism ministry warns of Covid, overcharging

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Tourists visit Preah Vihear Temple in December last year. LAY SAMEAN

Tourism ministry warns of Covid, overcharging

Minister of Tourism Thong Khon has instructed all provincial tourism departments across the country to help prevent the spread of Covid-19, and to keep a sharp eye out for price gouging during Lunar New Year celebrations from January 31 to February 3.

In a directive dated January 28, Khon said the departments must ensure that all preventive measures, especially the three dos and three don’ts, are strictly implemented.

“The procedures put in place for all tourism-related businesses to practice must be followed. All departments and relevant units must help to ensure the safety of all local and foreign visitors,” he said.

The authorities must control crowding and check that resorts, tourist attractions, restaurants and hotels are not accepting guest numbers above their capacity.

“Departments are to report cases of overcrowding to the ministry and municipal-provincial authorities immediately in order for them to temporarily close down offending establishments,” the directive said.

The ministry also said that authorities must ensure tourism-related business owners welcome only vaccinated visitors.

Authorities were also instructed to work with business owners and tourism operators to ensure that products and services are reasonably priced and that nobody is price gouging during the holiday.

All prices for accommodation, food and other services must be clearly indicated so that visitors will know in advance what they must pay. Any businesses that overcharge or attempt to add a so-called ‘holiday tax’ will be held accountable before the law, it added.

At the same time, Preah Sihanouk provincial governor Kuoch Chamroeun also instructed provincial authorities to maintain security and public order to ensure safety during the holiday.

Chamroeun said it was strictly forbidden to display explosives or firearms, which could cause loud noises or cause fires.

“Owners of hotels, guesthouses, and restaurants must keep prices reasonable, and all tourism and transport boat operators may only carry their regular number of passengers. They must provide lifejackets to all passengers when traveling on the sea,” he added.

He instructed authorities to prevent drunk driving and speeding, as these actions could endanger lives. All forms all forms of illegal gambling were prohibited, he added.

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