Cambodia's organising committees for the 32nd SEA Games and 12th ASEAN Para Games, CAMSOC-CAMAPGOC, announced a surprise decision to waive the $50 per day meal and accommodation fee that at previous editions were charged to each member of the sports delegations from participating countries at both events.
The decision followed an April 18 special meeting chaired by Prime Minister Hun Sen, with Minister of National Defence Tea Banh and Minister of Tourism Thong Khon in attendance.
“At today's important meeting, we received a recommendation from [Hun Sen and Tea Banh] to waive the $50 per day fee that is normally charged to sporting delegates from all countries. No delegates will be asked to pay the $50 per day fee," said CAMSOC-CAMAPGOC secretary-general Vath Chamrouen.
Chamrouen noted that this is an unprecedented move as no other country hosting these biennial multi-sports events has ever waived the fee, and that the information will be disseminated to the sports delegates by CAMSOC-CAMAPGOC representatives who are coordinating their visits and stay.
Hun Sen also recently announced the cancellation of the sale of live broadcast rights to all TV stations, at home and abroad, allowing them to broadcast the events for free if they choose to do so.
Additionally, it was previously announced that admission to the opening and closing ceremonies of both SEA Games and Para Games, as well as tickets to all of the sporting events that take place, will be free of charge for all members of the public, both Cambodians and foreign visitors.
With these policies in place, Cambodia has become the first country to host the games without any attempts to monetise the events through the typical avenues used by sports such as tickets or broadcast rights. This will be the Kingdom's first time hosting these events, something many felt was a long-awaited honour given the SEA Games 64-year history.
“We do not need the money that comes from ticket sales or any advertising, here in Cambodia. Our need right now is not money from ticket sales or the sale of advertising rights, but the need for the world to get to know Cambodia,” Hun Sen emphasised.