Approximately 60 hotels in Siem Reap province, a tourism hub home to the Angkor Wat temple, have been evaluated and classified into different groups that rank them from one to five-star hotels, according to the Tourism Ministry.
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In the ministry’s statement, the classification had been implemented as of May, noting that the 60 hotels make up about 8,100 rooms in the province. Of the total, 22 were classified as five-star hotels, accounting for 4,680 rooms.
The ministry noted that any hotel classification by a foreign travel agency, such as Agoda, Booking.com, Trip Advisor and Expedia, were not in accordance to ministry standards. The statement added that the foreign platforms scored in accordance to tourist satisfaction.
According to the statement, hotel evaluation conducted by the ministry was in accordance to the country’s sub decree on hotel classification and hospitality service, which evaluates based on equipment, amenities, decorations, and quality of service offered.
All hotel classifications recognised by the ministry will be validated within two years, the statement noted.
Ngouv Sengkak, director of Siem Reap tourism department, on Thursday said that the province currently boasts 259 hotels, or approximately 15,000 rooms, of which about 60 hotels have been officially rated from one to five-star hotels.
He said that by having a standardised evaluation of service quality by the ministry, hotel operators will gain trust from tourists. He noted that the province has never faced room shortages, adding that there are additionally 351 guest houses available.
Figures from the Tourism Ministry showed that Siem Reap Angkor welcomed about 970,000 foreign tourists from January to April this year, a 7.4 decrease compared to the same period last year.
Mr Sengkak said the downfall in the number of tourists were the result of tourists focusing on other destinations, noting that the country has many favourable tourism destinations.
Tourism Minister Thong Khon has previously called for the cooperation between public and private sectors to create new tourist attractions in Siem Reap province.
Speaking during a meeting with public officials in April, Minister Khon said that, in addition to the Angkor Archaeological Park, the province needs more tourism sites to make tourists stay longer.
He said that the province has limited sites to offer tourists.
“The public and private sector have to unite to establish more tourism products and resorts that can satisfy demand for entertainment among tourists as well as attract more tourists and make them stay longer,” Mr Khon said.
Chhay Sivlin, president of the Cambodia Association of Travel Agents, last week agreed, saying that the province has a limited number of tourism options. Many people do not know where to go after visiting the temples, she noted.
“Having more tourist attractions means that tourists will stay longer in the province which will benefit the local people and the tourism sector in general,” she said.