More than 100 hotels and guesthouses in Siem Reap province permanently ceased operations while 230 others announced indefinite suspensions amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the provincial hall revealed yesterday.
In a press conference held at the Council of Ministers regarding tackling the growth and development of Siem Reap, provincial tourism department director Ngov Seng Kak said the coronavirus pandemic has severely affected the province’s tourism and lodging sector.
To date, 18 hotels and 96 guesthouses have permanently closed, 172 hotels and 99 guesthouses have temporarily halted operations with only 40 hotels and 66 guesthouses fully operational.
“COVID-19’s impact on the province’s tourism industry has been drastic. The pandemic has led to a significant loss in revenue and has affected about 8,000 workers in the sector,” said Mr Seng Kak.
“There were only 1,776 tourists in May – a significant decrease of 98.77 percent – compared with figures from May last year which recorded more than 140,000 tourists,” he said.
Provincial deputy governor Ly Samrith added a tourism inter-ministerial committee has been preparing a master plan for tourism development, which includes the transformation of the former capital to a smart city, improvement of road infrastructure, information dissemination regarding tourist destinations in the province and enhancement of tourism services.
“I would like to call on the people to visit Siem Reap province. Don’t be concerned about a lack of accommodations due to the closure of hotels and guesthouses. There are still some available lodgings while restaurants and other establishments remain fully operational,” he said. He reminded tourists to still be cautious and adhere to COVID-19 preventive measures.
Deputy provincial police chief Brigadier General Teng Chan Nath said despite the decline in tourist foot traffic, officers continue to fulfil their duty of ensuring the safety of tourists who visit the province.