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Travellers leave less Khmer New Year litter

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The beaches were crowded for Khmer New Year celebrations in Kep province on Saturday. AKP

Travellers leave less Khmer New Year litter

Authorities from several provincial administrations have said that the majority of the nation’s 4.5 million holiday travellers over the three-day Khmer New Year were notably diligent in properly disposing of rubbish compared to previous years.

Preah Sihanouk Provincial Administration spokesman Kheang Phearom said a total of 232,264 tourists had visited the coastal province during the holiday. Of that number, domestic tourists accounted for the majority of the visitors at 218,853 along with 13,411 foreigners.

“During Khmer New Year the majority of people have properly disposed of their rubbish, but a small number have yet to cooperate in doing so. To keep our city clean and maintain a good environment with good sanitation and hygiene, people are required to clean up after themselves and dispose of their rubbish in designated bins in an appropriate manner,” he told The Post on April 17.

Preah Sihanouk Waste Management representative Heng Peng Hak said that this year the people visiting the coastal resorts there were generally better about disposing of their rubbish properly than in past years and made good use of the bins provided to the public for this purpose.

“The situation is better than it was before. We just collected it from the bins on the beaches. We didn’t have to pick up too much litter on the ground because it was already in the bins. Our workers just collected it. It was much easier than it was before. Previously, if we did not pick-up trash or rake the beaches for garbage, it would be littering them everywhere.

“We have also observed that now when people are eating while visiting the beaches they are not using as much plastic or styrofoam packaging as they did before,” he added.

Peng Hak said that in general the holiday celebrations went smoothly and that the public had been orderly, sanitary and cleaned up their own garbage. He credited the improvements to the education campaign on the subject undertaken by provincial officials prior to the celebrations.

“Speaking overall, our officials from the town administrations and the teams working for the garbage collection company have been educating the public about proper disposal of garbage, and so we’ve seen an unprecedented degree of improvement,” he said.

Kep Provincial Administration spokesman Ros Udong said the holiday had brought a total of 123,714 tourists to the resorts and beaches in the province. Of that number, almost all were domestic visitors along with roughly 1,000 international tourists.

“What we’ve observed in general is that the attitudes of visitors this year are better than in previous years as far as how they disposed of their garbage. As far as other issues with public order go, we had no problems there either,” he said.

Siem Reap provincial hall spokesman Liv Sokhon said that during the holiday, the province’s total number of domestic and international tourists was an estimated 400,591. Of that number, about 397,000 were domestic tourists from other provinces along with 3,591 foreign tourists.

“I see that people have a lot more knowledge about environmental issues now due to efforts to educate the public by relevant institutions and the town and district authorities, especially during this festival. We have spread the word to people everywhere. We see better waste disposal practices and better treatment of the environment generally,” he said.

Minister of Tourism Thong Khon said that the three-day Khmer New Year saw a total of 4,590,326 tourists, of whom 4,561,477 were domestic travellers along with 28,849 foreigners.

“In cooperation with the specialist departments of the capital and provincial administrations, we sent working groups to the major tourist destinations to control the flow of visitors and strengthen the implementation of safety rules and standard operating procedures to curb the spread of Covid-19 and to avoid environmental and hygienic issues. Over these past three days, there seemed to be no major problems that arose,” he said.

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