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Outside help to support visitors

Sorn Sarath / Khmer Times Share:
Tourists enjoying themselves on a Sihanoukville beach. Ministry of Tourism

The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the United Nations agency responsible for the promotion of responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism, will support Cambodia to restore the tourism sector after COVID-19 ends, according to Tourism Minister Thong Khon.

The claim was made during the UNWTO 32nd meeting via video conference last week.

The Minister said that UNWTO has regarded Cambodia as the priority country in Asia-Pacific and Southeast Asia to receive technical assistance support to restore the tourism sector after the COVID-19.

“Cambodia has a strong commitment to join UNWTO and other relevant parties to fight the pandemic spread,” he said.

Ministry spokesman Top Sopheak said that UNWTO will provide Cambodia with human resource development, training and exchange experiences in managing the tourism sector after the pandemic spead.

He said the Ministry of Tourism is setting the strategic planning to restore the sector while UNWTO will help in technical assistance.

“Because Cambodia’s tourism sector is seen well progress during the last recent years and before the COVID-19, we have improved our tourism infrastructures and will get more assistance from the UNWTO to restore the sector,” he said.

Sopheak said during the time of fighting the pandemic while some closed services such as pub or entertainment centre and karaoke will be allowed to reopen soon step-by-step depends on the COVID-19 situation.

“Now the trend of tourism service could be said has gradually returned by local and foreigners living here and we hope that the entertainment services will be resumed shortly as the government can better control the spread in the community,” he said

The figure form the Ministry of Tourism shows that Cambodia’s tourism sector has shown some positive signs since May, boosted by domestic visitors and foreigners living here with more than 450,000 people travelled to tourism destinations in the country as of June.

He said the ministry is also working with relevant ministries to adjust or ease the restriction to allow international tourists could enter the country without obstruction to help our tourism services.

“As the countries in the world and the region remain on restriction, we are already preparing the attraction plan to absorb the international visitors after the COVID-19 and we only wait to see the ease of COVID-19, so we hope we could attract more visitors as before,” he said.

The COVID-19 has forced the closure of nearly 3,000 tourism-based businesses and left more than 45,045 staff members unemployed as of May, according to government data.

Foreigners who travel to Cambodia will have to have proof of medical insurance to the value of $50,000 and a health certificate from a certified medical professional that states they are free of the COVID-19 infection. This is valid for up to 72 hours. They will also need a deposit of $3,000 upon arrival in Cambodia and spend 14 days in quarantine, which many is scaring visitors from entering Cambodia.

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