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

Cambodia receives 3.6 mln overseas tourists in 10 months

December 10th, 2014 , Xinhuanet News

Cambodia welcomed 3.6 million overseas tourists in the first 10 months of 2014, up 6 percent compared to the same period last year, a tourism official said on Wednesday.

Kong Sopheareak, chief of the statistics and planning department at the Ministry of Tourism, said the top three economies visited Cambodia are Vietnam, China and South Korea. …

Xinhuanet News Staff

Cambodia expects to receive half million Chinese tourists this year: PM

December 1st, 2014 , Global Post

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen said Monday that his country is expected to greet about 500,000 Chinese tourists this year, an estimated increase of 8 percent year-on-year. …

Kong Sopheareak, director of the Tourism Ministry’s Statistics and Planning Department, said Sino-Cambodian excellent ties and Cambodia’s attractive tourism sites are also key factors to attract more Chinese tourists. …

Global Post News Staff

Cambodian parliament panel chief questions management of Angkor Wat revenue

November 19th, 2014 , Radio Free Asia

A parliamentary commission leader wants Cambodia’s tourism ministry to manage revenue generated by the country’s iconic Angkor Wat temple complex, amid concerns that the government is losing money by retaining a private company to oversee ticket sales. …

A quasi-government group, Apsara Authority, which is responsible for conservation and tourist development of the Angkor Wat in Siem Reap, has contracted private firm Sokha Co. to oversee ticket sales at the temple complex. The company is owned by prominent businessman and former ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) lawmaker Sok Kong. …

After the meeting Wednesday, Thong Khun told reporters that he did not know how much ticket revenue Angkor Wat generated, because revenue was managed by the finance ministry and Apsara.

He said the tourism ministry could only claim that about 4.2 million people visited Angkor Wat last year, and that revenue from tourism-related services—such as hotels, restaurants and transportation—which employ about 50,000 workers, reached U.S. $2.5 billion annually. …

Roseanne Gerin

Chinese squeeze out tour groups in Siem Reap

October 10th, 2014 , The Cambodia Daily

Japanese and Korean tourists are being turned away from hotels in Siem Reap City due to an increase in bookings by Chinese visitors, Tourism Minister Thong Khon said on Wednesday.

Speaking at the tourism industry’s three-day expo on Phnom Penh’s Koh Pich island on Wednesday, Mr. Khon appealed to investors to build more hotels in Siem Reap City to accommodate Japanese and Korean tourists, who often book rooms in large groups and are struggling to find accommodation during the high season. …

Kang Sothear and George Styllis

Cambodia unveils regulation to protect entertainment workers

October 8th, 2014 , Xinhuanet News

Cambodia’s Ministries of Labour and Tourism on Wednesday jointly launched a new regulation for protecting the occupational safety, health and labour rights of entertainment workers. “The regulation aims to improve working conditions, occupational safety and health rules of entertainment service enterprises, establishments and companies,”said a joint statement released at the launching ceremony.

The move is intended to address a range of challenges that entertainment workers face including poor occupational safety and health education and protection, violence and sexual harassment, excessive working hours and low pay and forced alcohol consumption. …

Xinhuanet News Staff

Cambodia receives 2.54 mln foreign tourists in 7 months, up 4.5 pct

September 12th, 2014 , Shanghai Daily

Cambodia had attracted some 2. 54 million international visitors in the first seven months of 2014, up 4.5 percent compared to the same period last year, the latest tourism report showed Friday.

Kong Sopheareak, chief of the Tourism Ministry’s Statistics and Planning Department, said Vietnam, China, and South Korea remained the largest sources of tourists to the country. …

Shanghai Daily News Staff

Cambodia’s tourism slows a mite

August 18th, 2014 , TTR Weekly

Cambodia’s tourist arrivals registered a 0.3% decline in June according to the country’s statistics and tourist Information Department.

The country attracted 300,454 visits compared to 301,412 during the same month last year.

Released officially by the Ministry of Tourism, last week, data showed Vietnam led the field with 78,597 visits, but decreasing 5.0% from 82,703 during the same month in 2013. …

Wanwisa Ngamsangchaikit

Foreigners, tourists to pay more for entry visas

August 16th, 2014 , The Cambodia Daily

Foreigners will have to pay additional costs to enter Cambodia following a government announcement earlier this week that visa fees will increase by $10 starting in October.

Tourists will have to pay $30 for a one-month entry visa and business visitors $35, up from the $20 and $25, respectively, that is currently charged. …

Kang Sothear

Cambodia attracts 230,100 Chinese visitors in H1, up 19 pct

August 13th, 2014 ,

Cambodia has received 230,100 Chinese tourists in the first six months of 2014, an increase of 19 percent over the same period last year, according to a tourism report released on Wednesday.

The report shows that China is the second largest source of tourists to Cambodia after Vietnam.

Kong Sopheareak, chief of the statistics and planning department at the Ministry of Tourism, attributed the steady and remarkable rise in Chinese tourists to Cambodia to more direct flight connections between Cambodia and China and Cambodia’s attractive tourism destinations. … News Staff

Sihanoukville struggles to shake its seedy image

August 11th, 2014 , The Cambodia Daily

This tourist town counts itself among the Most Beautiful Bays in the World Club and more than 1 million tourists each year are drawn to its tropical water and sandy shore. Yet when the U.S. Embassy last month warned its citizens to avoid some beaches here after sundown for fear of violence, few were surprised.

Sihanoukville has become a haven for high-end development in recent years, with private beach resorts, luxury island retreats, five-star hotels and casinos rising up along its coast.

But as the town’s star grows brighter on the tourist map, Ochheuteal Beach and the adjoining backpacker hub Serendipity Beach retain their reputation as the perfect place to find trouble in paradise. …

Ouch Sony and Simon Henderson