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Siem Reap’s Old Market stall owners given a lifeline

Jason Boken / Khmer Times Share:
Siem Reap’s Old Market has seen revenue drop as much as 80 percent this year. KT/Jason Boken

Owners of market stalls at Siem Reap’s Old Market have been given a lifeline to help them to stay open at a time when it is needed the most.

Some market stall owners have been given a discount on their rent of up to 75 percent in the hope that it will keep their businesses alive.

Siem Reap’s Old Market (locally known as Phsar Chaa) is a tourist-aimed market stocked with many items such as silverware, silk, wood carvings, Buddhas, paintings, notes and coins, T-shirts, table mats, food and more.

This year, however, the market saw a huge decline in people visiting because of the dreaded COVID-19 and the lack of tourists. Stall owners have reported a drop in revenue of up to 80 percent, this has caused multiple stall owners to pack up and close their beloved businesses forever.

Because of this, the market has now started to drop the price of rents in the hope of keeping the market alive.

Market stall owner, Srey Neang, said: “This year has been very tough for businesses in Siem Reap. Here at the Old Market we have seen our sales drop by around 80 percent, We see a rise in business at weekends and public holidays through domestic tourism but that is still not enough.”

“Luckily I have had my rent dropped down from $800 per month to $200. This has helped me so much because if this was not introduced I would have had to have closed my business. For the people of Siem Reap, all that we can do at the moment is try to survive through this difficult time. We have to look forward to holidays and hope that in the near future there is a return of tourism from outside Cambodia.”

This month the draft of Siem Reap tourism development master plan for 2020-2035 will be finalised and submitted to the Council of Ministers for approval.

The Siem Reap Tourism Development Master Plan 2020-2035 is expected to be the key mechanism to reply to the current and future situation, to the impact caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Also, related to the development of Siem Reap province, home of the famous Angkor Archaeological Park, the government of Cambodia has allocated $150 million to build 38 roads in the province.

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