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51,000 tourism-based jobs in Cambodia vapourised because of COVID-19 pandemic

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Tour guides at Siem Reap. As foreign tourism vanishes, so has 51,000 tourism related workforce in Cambodia, no thanks to COVID-19. Photo supplied

Close to 51,000 jobs have disappeared from the once thriving tourism sector as 2,838 tourism-related businesses in Cambodia have shuttered down or temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 crisis as of September this year, according to the Ministry of Tourism.

Speaking at a workshop on Tourism Business Operation in COVID-19 era held in Siem Reap province on Friday, Song Tonghap, Secretary of State for Tourism, said that the affected number accounts 29.6 percent of the tourism-related businesses nationwide.

About 62 percent of COVID-19-affected tourism businesses are based in Siem Reap province, making 14,702 workers out of jobs, he added.

To restore the sector, Ministry of Tourism is preparing key strategic documents such as roadmap on the rehabilitation and promotion of Cambodia’s tourism sector (2020-2025), master plans for tourism development in Siem Reap, Kep and Mondulkiri provinces (2020-2035), and Tourism Development Strategic Plan (2021-2030), the Secretary of State pointed out.

To support tourism business situation in this COVID-19 period, the Royal Government of Cambodia has launched six rounds of measures to continue to manage the impact on key sectors of the national economy, including tax measures, workers-employees’ protection measures, and exemption of tourism licence renewal fees nationwide for 2021, he said.

The total foreign arrivals in Cambodia in the first nine months of 2020 dropped by 74.1 percent to 1,247,680, according to the ministry’s report. Chea Vannak – AKP

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