The Apsara Authority has banned visitors from eating food in the World-heritage temple complex.
Hang Pov, Apsara Authority director, said in a letter dated Thursday that the authority wished to remind relevant parties that the Angkor area is a World Heritage Site with many famous temples, especially Angkor Wat, and that eating food in the complex is now banned.
“In order to preserve the precious Khmer legacy and to maintain public order and good sanitation, we ban all food, especially packed meals brought in during sunrise or sunset visits, in the temple complex,” he said.
He added that tour operators, tourist associations as well as guides have to advice their guests not eat meals in the temple complex.
Nuon Mony, Siem Reap provincial environment department director, yesterday said that the ban will help to keep the Angkor site environment clean.
“Leftover food and discarded packages litter the temple complex and it affects the environment at Angkor,” he said. “The authority is taking action as part of efforts to protect the environment at the Angkor complex and keep its surroundings clean.”
Mr Mony added that tourists should find appropriate places to eat instead of in the complex.
Sou Malin, a Siem Reap city resident, yesterday said that residents support the ban.
“Some people do not clean up after they eat and they litter the area, which affects the environment,” she said.
In October 2017, Apsara Authority banned food vendors from setting up stalls in front of Angkor Wat.
The Angkor Archeological Park, which includes the famed Unesco-listed Angkor temples, generated $116.6 million in income from entry tickets last year, an eight percent increase compared with the year before.
From January to December last year, the number of foreign visitors to the park rose 5.4 percent to 2.5 million, according to a statement released by the state-run Angkor Enterprise Institute in January.