I wish to express my strong disagreement on the article published by Traveller for their website with the title Best places to go in 2020: 12 destinations you should avoid. Below is my opinion of the article.
It is obviously free for the Traveller to express its point of view and we can say that we prefer Paris to Barcelona or Borobudur to Bali, without any problem. But to directly suggest visitors not to go to Angkor is highly unacceptable and a great offence rather than objective advice.
Furthermore, the suggestion seems to forget that Angkor, inscribed on the World Heritage List (Unesco) since 1992, has been subjected to permanent monitoring and consistent international expert evaluation for a quarter of a century. And that an institution set up in 1995 for the protection and the management of the Angkor Site, the Apsara National Authority, takes care of the site management and maintenance in general as well as the maintenance of monuments, in addition to consolidation and restoration works.
One should not forget that the most important aspect is the international guarantee given to the conservation and enhancement programme of Angkor by the International Coordinating Committee for Angkor (ICC-Angkor) created in 1993, which meets every six months, under the co-presidency of France and Japan with the follow-up of Unesco ensured by the standing secretariat of the committee. Moreover, independent international experts regularly monitor and evaluate the entire site, report on the situation to the committee and make recommendations to improve the situation. Nothing escapes their vigilance.
Once again, tourists are free to choose where to go and it depends on their preference and culture but the assessment of site to be visited should be conducted on an objective way and does not admit false information or approximation.
For sure much remain to be done in this immense and inhabited site (40,000ha, with 113 villages). Any advice, any positive suggestion is more than welcome. But it is not permissible to spread unfounded information and to call for a boycott. It is openly damaging the interests of the Cambodian people and the World Heritage.
Spokesperson, Apsara National Authority
Send letters to: [email protected] or PO Box 146, Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The Post reserves the right to edit letters to a shorter length.The views expressed above are solely the author’s and do not reflect any positions taken by The Phnom Penh Post.