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Government discusses special tourist policy

Sok Chan / Khmer Times Share:
Tourists taking photos at Angkor Wat. KT/Chor Sokunthea

A senior official of the Ministry of Tourism (MOT) has said the ministry has drafted a special tourism policy and is now discussing with the private sector and relevant ministries to get more comprehensive information and hold a summit with the National Committee for Tourism Development and the government on the sector’s future.

Top Sopheak, secretary of state at the Ministry of Tourism, said the policy will be implemented in the famous tourism zones. He said that previously the government has issued one sub-decree on these zones.

“The special tourist policy is different from travel bubbles or special tour packages.”We want to bring tourists from low-risk countries affected by COVID-19… The travel bubble is the method to bring tourists to the country during COVID-19,” he added.

According to the National Policy on Tourism Industry, the government has issued a special tourist policy focusing on recovery and promoting the inclusive development of the socio-economic situation through the tourism industry with the diversification of new tourism products and enhance the development of famous tourism zones.

Special tourists refers to qualified tourists recognised by law, authorised to visit, have accommodation, do business, join in development and invest in the great tourism zones of the Kingdom of Cambodia.

Special tourist categories include special package tourists, business tourists, second home-tourists, senior tourists (older or retired people who have money and resources) and other types of tourist to be defined by the government.

A special tourist is a high-end tourist of quality and good resources who has good standing, in a clear control system, appropriate to the recovery period of the tourism industry. The aim is to resolve all challenges such as COVID-19, requiring us to go for a tourism under management system to build “the New Normal of Tourism”.

This Special tourist policy will become “the powerful engine contributing to the recovery and boost economic growth”, social development, attracting quality tourists in line with the new trends of “the New Normal, also attracting investments at tourist destination zones.

The policy is designed so that once the COVID-19 crisis is under control or resolved, the number of special tourists will increase, giving high socio-economic benefits to Cambodia, say its authors.

The release of the special tourist policy is an appropriate choice to meet the needs of tourism, socio-economic recovery in line with the existing potential Cambodia has and to ensure the good management of the COVID-19 crisis, as well as other challenges. Attracting quality tourists who help Cambodia’s socio-economics is the most important factor and is the key strategy to follow to enhance Cambodia’s inclusive and sustainable development, the MOT says.

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