Chinese continue to flock as region suffers

July 25th, 2014 , The Cambodia Daily

Cambodia’s tourism industry has benefited from the unrest that has hit much of the region, with Chinese tourists diverting their routes from problematic areas such as Thailand to the country, according to a report released Thursday by the Sydney-based Center for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA).

Chinese visitors, the second largest nationality to visit Cambodia behind Vietnamese, are the fastest growing market, increasing by 20 percent in the first half of the year compared to the last. The number of Chinese nationals hit 240,567 during the first five months of the year and accounted for 12.7 percent of total tourist arrivals.

Driving the growth has been the political protests in Thailand that ended with a military coup, anti-China protests in Vietnam and the disappearance of a Malaysia Airlines flight in March, which has impacted travel to both Malaysia and Singapore. …

George Styllis and Cherie Chan

Passenger arrival at airports up by 10 pct

July 10th, 2014

The number of passenger arrivals at the Kingdom’s airports rose to 1.37 million in the first six months of the year, up 10 per cent from 1.24 million visitors in the same period in 2013, according to figures from Cambodia Airports.

The figures include both international and domestic arrivals at phnom Penh international Airport and Siem Reap International Airport, with more than 750, 000 passengers touching down at the latter. …

Hor Kimsay

Cyclo drivers struggle as demand dwindles

July 2nd, 2014 , The Cambodia Daily

When Men Chan started out as a cyclo driver in Phnom Penh in 1966, his services were in demand and his salary was modest but adequate.

Now—like most of his colleagues across the city—the 71-year-old is struggling to make ends meet as his income stagnates and the cost of living rises. …

In a further blow for the fate of the iconic vehicles, there has been a 40 percent drop in the number of tourist passengers this low season compared to last year, according to the Cyclo Conservation and Careers Association (CCCA). …

Kang Sothear and Holly Robertson

CBRE: Cambodia’s bright future

June 26th, 2014 , TTR Weekly

CBRE Cambodia’s latest MarketView report sees strong growth in tourist arrivals resulting in growth in hotel occupancy rates and durations of stay.

Quoting Ministry of Tourism statistics, CBRE said Cambodian tourism sector continued to enjoy steady growth over the course of 2013, with the number of international arrivals increasing by 17.5%, to 4,210,165 trips, up from 3,584,037 in 2012. …

Wanwisa Ngamsangchaikit

Cambodia attracts 1.9 mln foreign tourists in 5 months, up 6 pct

June 24th, 2014 , Shanghai Daily

Cambodia has received some 1.9 million foreign visitors in the first five months of 2014, a 6 percent rise compared to the same period last year, a tourism official said Tuesday. “Vietnam, China and South Korea are the largest sources of tourists to Cambodia,” Kong Sopheareak, chief of the Tourism Ministry’s Statistics and Planning Department, told Xinhua. …

Shanghai Daily News Staff

Cambodia revising gambling laws to attract investment

June 24th, 2014 , GGRAsia

The Cambodian government is in the process of amending its gaming laws in a bid to draw major casino operators, industry sources have confirmed to GGRAsia.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Phnom Penh Post reported that the new draft of the national casino law could be finalised as early as this year. It said regulators are also considering legalising online gambling in the country. …

The newspaper quoted Ros Phirun, spokesman for the Ministry of Economy and Finance’s gaming and casino department, as saying the new draft of the casino law will be stricter and more transparent. …

The same source told GGRAsia that fair and thorough enforcement of any new casino law that might be enacted by Cambodia would be key to such a statute’s success. “Having rules with ad hoc enforcement leaves avenues for individual discretion,” said the person, who has knowledge of the bill being drafted. …

GGRAsia News Staff

Ad spending sees hike in budget for tourism

June 18th, 2014 , The Phnom Penh Post

The Cambodian government has budgeted $3.5 million for tourism-related advertising and promotions in 2014, Minister of Tourism Thong Khon said yesterday.

“This year the budget has reached $3.5 million dollars, half of the total budget for the ministry as we will host PATA Travel Mart 2014,” he said, referring to September’s three-day tourism trade fair organised by the Pacific Asian Tourism Association.

Khon said $800,000 will be spent on broadcasting advertisements on US-based global television network CNN. The remaining funds will be spent on public events and tourism related exhibitions inside and outside of the country. …

Chan Muyhong

Kompong Cham officials accused of extortion

June 11th, 2014 , The Cambodia Daily

The Anti-Corruption Unit revealed Monday that the director of Kompong Cham provincial Treasury Department Kol Thearin and officials under her are being investigated for allegedly embezzling money from local development projects and extorting bribes from developers, according to a statement from the ACU.

ACU chairman Om Yientieng wrote to Ms. Thearin on March 14 informing her it had received a complaint in December claiming she and provincial Treasury Department officials were demanding kickbacks from project developers, according to the statement posted on the ACU’s website on Monday. …

Kuch Naren

Capital to host tourism fair

June 11th, 2014 , The Phnom Penh Post

For the first time in the event’s 37-year history, Cambodia is to host the annual Pacific Asian Tourism Association Travel Mart (PTM), an annual tourism trade fair organised by the multinational tourism body.

So Visothy, director of marketing and information at the Ministry of Tourism, said yesterday that the trade fair, which will take place September 17-19 on Koh Pich, is a boon for the country’s tourism industry. …

Chan Muyhong

Cambodia to diversify

June 6th, 2014 , TTR Weekly

Cambodia Ministry of Tourism hopes to encourage international tourists to visit coastal areas and ecotourism destinations to take pressure off Siem Reap.
The ministry’s marketing & promotion department representative, Hou Sokhom, told TTR Weekly that the country needs to encourage tourists to travel more to other destinations besides Angkor Wat in Siem Reap and the capital Phnom Penh. …

Cambodia coastal area covers 435 km including Koh Kong province and Sihanoukville Municipality. …

Mondul Kiri is one of the most popular destinations for ecotourism in Cambodia, while the small town of Kratie province is famous for Irrawaddy dolphins. It is estimated that there are less than 80 dolphins left. The best spot to watch the dolphins is at Kampi village, 15 km north from town.

During January to March this year, coastal areas shared only 11.7% of all visits to the country at 170,967, while ecotourism areas accounted just 1.4% or 19,857 visits.

Meanwhile, tourist arrivals to Siem Reap, home of Angkor Wat, posted a market share of 53.4% attracting 778,737 visits, while arrivals to Phnom Penh and other destinations accounted for 33.5%, or 489,185 trips. …

Wanwisa Ngamsangchaikit

Instability delays CAA launching new routes

June 5th, 2014 , The Phnom Penh Post

Cambodia Angkor Air (CAA) will delay the launch of its planned direct flights to Beijing, Tokyo and Singapore due to unrest in neighbouring countries, the airline said yesterday.

Originally slated to open the new routes before the end of the year, tensions in Thailand and Vietnam have resulted in lower crossborder visitor numbers to Cambodia, meaning the planned flights would be reviewed again next year said Tekret Samrach, Chairman of CAA. …

May Kunmakara

Thai tourism threatened by coup; effect on Cambodia uncertain

May 26th, 2014 , The Cambodia Daily

Thailand’s Tourism Ministry has been biting its nails since the country’s military declared a coup on Thursday and imposed a nighttime curfew, but a Cambodian official said Sunday that it is too soon to say whether the lock-down will have a knock-on effect on tourism across the border.

Pornthip Hirunkate, the vice president of the Tourism Council of Thailand, told Thailand’s The Na­tion newspaper on Saturday that warnings against travel issued by foreign embassies would serve as a grave threat to the country’s tour­ism industry. …

In Cambodia, however, Tith Chan­tha, a director-general in the Ministry of Tourism, said the only group of tourists whose numbers have dropped in the wake of last week’s coup was Thai nationals.

“Thai tourists have definitely de­clined, but there has been no de­cline in other guests entering the country,” Mr. Chantha said. …

Ang Kim Eang, president of the Cambodian Association of Travel Agents, said that the situation in Thai­land and the perception it creates internationally could ultimately lead to an increase in tour­ists com­ing to Cambodia. …

In Kampot province, near to the Vietnamese border, some guests at Ollie’s Place said they had changed their plans to move on to Thailand.

“I’ve decided to extend my stay in Cambodia because I’m uncertain about what will happen next in Thai­land,” said Anna Sturt, 27. …

Simon Henderson and Hul Reaksmey

Tourism campaign to counter unrest

May 26th, 2014 , The Phnom Penh Post

The Ministry of Tourism will hold an emergency meeting with industry leaders and representatives in Phnom Penh today to look at what can be done to curb the loss of cross-border visitors resulting from unrest in neighbouring countries.

Minister Thong Khon yesterday emphasised the need for Cambodia’s tourism industry – which relies on a steady flow of visitors from within the region – to remain strong amid a military coup in Thailand and tensions in Vietnam over a sovereignty dispute with China.

“We need a promotional campaign to attract tourists, to inform them about our potential destinations and that if they cannot come into Thailand, they can come to Cambodia by taking a direct flight,” Khon said. …

Chan Muyhong

Cambodia’s tourism short of staff

May 19th, 2014 , TTR Weekly

Cambodia’s Ministry of Tourism says the country’s tourism sector is growing at an unsustainable rate that will cause a massive shortfall in skilled tourism-related labour.

The ministry’s statistics department director, Kong Sopheareak, told local media that as tourist arrivals increase substantially every year, the challenge is to find labour to work in tourism.

“The tourism industry is facing a lack of skilled workers, especially cooks, housekeepers and tour guides,” he said.

Cambodia Hotel Association president, Luu Meng, was quoted as saying that Siem Reap, the main tourist destination is critically short of staff. …

Wanwisa Ngamsangchaikit

Cambodia’s tourism steady

May 12th, 2014 , TTR Weekly

Cambodia’s tourist arrivals registered a 4.7% growth in March according to the country’s statistics and tourist Information Department.

The country attracted 400,076 visits compared to 382,206 during the same month last year.

Released by the Ministry of Tourism, late last week, data showed Vietnam led the field with 74,975 visits increasing 9.2% from 68,680 during the same month in 2013.

Other top source markets were: China (50,071; +18.3%); South Korea (36,463; -13.1%); Laos (34,355; +1.5%); and Japan (24,434; +13.6%). …

Data also showed tourist arrivals to Siem Reap province, home of Angkor Wat, posted a share of 50.3% attracting 230,180 visits, while arrivals to Phnom Penh and other destinations accounted for 37.2%, or 169,896 trips. Coastal areas also shared 11.2% with 51,360 visits while ecotourism areas accounted for 1.3% receiving 5,870 visits. …

Tourism Minister Thong Khon said the figures should reach the target of 4.7 to 4.8 million tourists by the end of this year. …

Cambodia Association of Travel Agents president, Ang Kim Eang, said the figures were encouraging, but further development in the sector was needed to support continued growth. …

Wanwisa Ngamsangchaikit

No clubs near schools, Council of Ministers says

May 12th, 2014 , The Cambodia Daily

The Council of Ministers on Friday passed a sub-decree on the management of adult entertainment clubs and a draft of a new national housing policy to promote home ownership, a cabinet official said.

The new Sub-Decree on Management of Adult Entertainment Places, consisting of 25 articles, prohibits the establishment of discos or nightclubs within 200 meters of an embassy, school, pagoda or government institution, according to Council of Ministers spokesman Phay Siphan. …

According to a statement issued by the Council of Ministers, Cambodia currently has 659 adult entertainment establishments that employ a total of 11,331 people, but only 480 of these establishments are properly licensed. …

The Council of Ministers also passed a draft of the new National Policy on Housing, developed by the Land Management Ministry in conjunction with a number of housing rights groups, that would help middle- and low-income Cambodians own their own homes.

The policy aims to ensure that “all shall have proper housing for living a decent life,” Mr. Siphan said. He said the plan would establish a joint committee to work with NGOs and the private sector to encourage home ownership. …

Beng Hong Socheat Khemro, spokesman for the Land Management Ministry, said the policy would not provide homes directly, but would “find ways to help the people find homes.”

Asked if the policy would address widespread land and housing evictions that have become a major human rights issue over the past decade, he said: “It’s necessary to relocate the people in some places that belong to the state or to other people, but this policy would help them when they are asked to move out.”

Kuch Naren

AAA takes flight from Japan to Siem Reap

May 7th, 2014 , The Phnom Penh Post

Asia Atlantic Airlines (AAA) made its first flight from Japan’s Narita International Airport to Siem Reap on May 3 with more than 260 tourists on board – and there are more to come.

AAA ran the test flight last week before committing to two flights per week starting in July, and daily connections could commence later this year, according to the Minister of Tourism Thong Khon. …

Hor Kimsay

Work begins on mega resort

May 1st, 2014 , The Phnom Penh Post

Construction began yesterday on the Sokha Hotel Group’s 600-room luxury resort in Siem Reap – right next door to Angkor Wat.

Named the Sokha Siem Reap Resort, both company and government officials were out in force at yesterday’s groundbreaking ceremony, talking up the perks of the new complex located in an area reserved by the Ministry of Tourism for hotel development, next to Cambodia’s best-known historical temple complex.

“After receiving an official permission from APSARA Authority this year, we held the groundbreaking ceremony, and we will start to construct our resort today,” said Heu Heng, deputy director-general of Sokimex Group, referring to the authority that manages Angkor Wat. …

Thik Kaliyann