Vang Vieng, Lao PDR

MoT holds meeting with private sector about future of tourism

On a trail at Roleak Kang Cheurng Community-based ecotourism, Phnom Knong Phsar, in Aroal, Kampong Speu province. Supplied

The Ministry of Tourism (MOT) held a meeting with the private sector yesterday to discuss plans to open up the country as soon as October to vaccinated tourists travelling to the country on package tours.

The meeting follows on from the reported May 24 virtual closed-door session held by the ministry in which it laid out an action plan for the gradual reopening of tourism in the country from October to December, beginning initially with a focus on Cambodia’s main tourist attraction Angkor Wat in Siem Reap province.

The meeting was hosted by Minister of Tourism Thong Khon and was attended by key tourism stakeholders from the private sector including the Cambodian Association of Travel Agents (CATA),the Cambodian Tourism Federation (CTF),  the Cambodian Restaurants Association (CRA), the Cambodia Hotel Association (CHA, and the Pacific-Asia Travel Association (PATA).

Speaking exclusively to Khmer Times, Director of Travel for the Ministry of Tourism, Chhun Hakara, said that the ministry presented a draft paper to participants  whereby the opening of the kingdom to tourists would initially only be available to vaccinated travelers booked on pre-arranged package tours through registered travel agents. The plan would thus exclude independent travellers, at least during the opening phase.

He acknowledged that the private-sector participants had concerns with regards to the potentially high prices of the tours putting off tourists and stated that the ministry would continue to work with all members of the sector including restaurants, resorts, as well as other ministries to ensure that tours to the country would be priced competitively, particularly in comparison with other nations in southeast Asia.

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