New campaign will fight plastic bag blight

November 24th, 2015 , The Phnom Penh Post

UNESCO and the ministries of Tourism and Environment this weekend will launch a campaign aimed at ridding the capital of the plastic waste currently choking its waterways and piling up in its landfills.

The campaign, starting on Friday, will seek to educate Cambodians about how to cut down on plastic waste, which also kills wildlife and persists in the environment for thousands of years. …

Sen David and Igor Kossov

Private companies warned on beach access

November 23rd, 2015 , The Phnom Penh Post

The government has vowed to crack down on coastal hotels and resorts that have restricted public access to beaches or constructed illegal encroachments within 50 metres of the shoreline.

Tourism Minister Thong Khon warned yesterday that his ministry will give private companies a deadline to remove any fences or constructions that violate a government directive that ensures all beaches in the Kingdom remain public property. …

Sor Chandara

New requirements set for homestay owners

June 1st, 2015 , The Phnom Penh Post

Aiming to boost the number of visitors to eco-tourism areas, the Ministry of Tourism has introduced a new set of standards required of owners of homestay accommodation.

From the look and feel of the homestay lodgings to understanding roles and responsibility of accommodation management, the standards introduce some minimum requirements of owners in an effort improve services, promote eco-based tourism and improve the livelihoods of people in rural areas, according to Thong Khon, the minister of tourism. …

Chan Muyhong

Outbound holidays on the rise this year

May 19th, 2015 , The Phnom Penh Post

The number of Cambodian outbound tourists has spiked considerably in the first quarter of this year compared with the same period the year before, according to official data.

Figures from the Ministry of Tourism show that 87,450 Cambodians went abroad by the end of March of this year, compared with 72,430 in 2014’s first quarter – an increase of more than 20 per cent. …

May Kunmakara

Cambodia gets travel laurel

May 11th, 2015 , The Phnom Penh Post

Cambodian tourism authorities expect the sector, which saw tourist arrivals drop in 2014, to get a boost this year, after the country was accorded an award for being the best cultural and heritage tourist destination at last week’s World Travel Fair in Shanghai.

Tith Chantha, secretary of state at the Ministry of Tourism, said the award was based on criteria such as clean and green environment, good security for tourists, food and hospitality services among others. The fair had 50 countries participating and showcasing their tourism sites and products in a bid to attract Chinese tourists. …

May Kunmakara

Tourism licences to go online

April 21st, 2015 , The Phnom Penh Post

The Ministry of Tourism launched a new online system yesterday to register tourism-related businesses and tour guides who need a licence, in order to ease the licence inspection process and boost government revenues, said a senior ministry official.

Neb Samouth, director general at the Ministry of Tourism, said the online system is part of governmental reforms to simplify the licence-registration process, which has to be done every year, and aid with the inspection of unlicensed businesses. …

Chan Muyhong

Cambodian massage parlours told to shape up

March 24th, 2015 , The Phnom Penh Post

Cambodia’s massage palours and spa centres are now required to have at least 30 per cent of their staff trained and certified or risk having their business permits revoked, according to a new directive from the Ministry of Tourism.

The directive seeks to professionalise the practice and improve the image of Cambodia’s massage industry, which currently has no formal accreditation system. …

Charles Rollet

Group behind banned festival tries soft touch

February 4th, 2015 , The Phnom Penh Post

After music festival kaZantip was banned on Monday by Cambodian officials, organisers say they are mounting a campaign to change hearts and minds. …

Kharchenko said the festival team would be sending “presentations” to all interested Cambodian officials to demonstrate how “we really love Cambodia and its culture and we want our visitors to love Cambodia, too”. …

Charles Rollet

Gov’t says ‘nyet’ to fest

February 3rd, 2015 , The Phnom Penh Post

Still eager after recent events to shield Cambodian culture from indecency, government officials yesterday said they had become increasingly wary of the imminent kaZantip music festival in Sihanoukville, with high-ranking tourism officials reporting that the event had already been cancelled.

KaZantip, which was scheduled to take place on Koh Puos from February 18 through the 28, was shut down before it began, due to a reputation for “indecency” and a “naked dance”, Minister of Tourism Thong Khon said in an interview yesterday. …

Chhay Channyda and Sean Teehan

Growth in tourist arrivals slows to 5-year low

January 27th, 2015 , The Cambodia Daily

Growth in tourist arrivals slowed down last year to the lowest rate since the global financial crisis, according to preliminary figures provided by the Ministry of Tourism on Monday.

The number of visitors arriving by all modes of transport reached 4.5 million last year, up just 7 percent from 4.2 million in 2013, according to Kong Sopheareak, director of the statistics department at the Tourism Ministry.​ …

George Styllis and Kang Sothear