The Ministry of Tourism plans to introduce new guidelines this month for business health standards for tourism-related businesses such as hotels, restaurants and resorts as the ministry aims to increase domestic tourism.
A working group has been established to write a clear set of guidelines for businesses to follow and ensure they are maintaining an appropriate level of hygiene, Minister Thong Khon said.
“Reactivating domestic tourism is a top priority now because the government has lifted the inter-province travel ban,” Khon said.
Those businesses which do not follow the health guidelines set from the ministry will have their operations suspended temporarily or completely closed down, he warned.
Chhay Sivlin, president of the Cambodia Association of Travel Agents, applauded the new set of guidelines, saying it will help tourism because the sector has been severely affected by COVID-19.
“The recession will end after COVID disappears but foreign tourist arrivals in Cambodia will not likely increase fast because there is also an economic impact on people in other countries. So, the role of the domestic tourist will be very important,” Sivlin said. According to a ministry report there were 1.4 million domestic tourists in the first quarter of this year, a 34 percent decrease compared with the same period last year, while the arrival of foreign tourists also dropped by 38 percent to 1.15 million. Chinese tourist numbers dropped by 62 percent to 259,732, while tourists from Vietnam, the United States and South Korea are also recorded as declining by 4 percent, 33 percent and 46 percent respectively over the same period.