Hundreds of tourists are visiting the Chreav waterfalls in Kampong Speu province during the replacement holidays.
This comes after visitors to the waterfalls dropped by around 40 percent due to concerns over the spread of COVID-19.
Say Son, president of the Chreav community, said today that according to a report, about 700 people visited the waterfalls yesterday and more have been recorded today.
However, he was unable to provide today’s figures.
Son said that last year, more than 8,000 tourists visited the waterfalls each month but this year, prior to the holidays, only 20 to 30 tourists visited daily.
“The tourists pay $0.50 to rent a motorbike and $1.25 for a car each trip. The funds are used to repair gravel roads, clean the area and help poor families in the community,” he said
“The Chreav waterfalls provide additional income to the community through community services, hiking, and food sales.”
Phon Pov, a 50-year-old pastry and fruit seller, said his family was engaged in rice farming and corn farming and he sells goods at the waterfall area every weekend and on holidays to make extra income.
He said after the drop in visitors due to the pandemic, he is now seeing more and more tourists coming to visit the resort.
“Only about 30 percent of the tourists are Cambodians. The more tourists there are, the more I earn from selling fruits,” Pov said. “When there are not many tourists, I earn only about $5 per day, but when there are many guests, I can earn up to $75 to support my family and provide for my grandchildren’s education.”
Chan Sophary, a tourist from Phnom Penh, said this was the first time her family had come to Chreav after the COVID-19 situation improved. She said there are beautiful waterfalls, lots of trees and the weather is cool.
“When we visit the natural areas, there are waterfalls and forests, so it refreshes us after being tired from work and bored with the hustle and bustle of the city,” she said. “My family is still taking precautions against COVID-19 by wearing masks and not going to crowded places.”
The Chreav waterfall area with seven levels of waterfalls, is located in Omlaing commune, Thpong district, about 60 kilometres from Chbar Mon district or 100 kilometres from Phnom Penh.