Phnom Penh governor Khuong Sreng told all 14 district authorities to prepare for Khmer New Year celebrations, while the Ministry of Tourism has issued a circular instructing all capital-provincial tourism departments to strengthen tourism services during the holiday.

Sreng issued his push during a March 20 meeting with the governors of the 14 districts, along with officials from the police and gendarmerie.

He said that to prepare for this year’s celebrations – scheduled for April 14-16, the Department of Public Works and Transport will be tasked with renovating and decorating the city, particularly around the historical site of Wat Phnom.

He added that security and safety need to be strengthened, both at Wat Phnom and across the capital’s 14 districts, as many people are expected to leave for their hometowns or further afield.

“We need to ensure that their homes are kept safely, and that they can return home happily,” he said.

Tourism minister Thong Khon also issued a circular instructing the capital-provincial tourism departments to strengthen tourism services and manage the flow of visitors during the upcoming holiday.

The ministry instructed all tourism departments to cooperate with the capital-provincial administrations and specialised departments to organise events and entertainment programmes in the traditional way.

The ministry ordered the Siem Reap tourism department to cooperate closely with the Union of Youth Federations of Cambodia (UYFC) working group to plan the Angkor Sangkran festivities.

“They must continue to promote the consistent implementation of measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19, as well as the minimum standard operating procedures set by the ministry. This will maintain business stability and ensure the safety of tourists,” it said.

It also recommended that the departments meet with their counterparts from the commerce departments to improve the quality of tourism products and services and maintain appropriate pricing structures.

“All prices for accommodation, food and other services must be clearly written in Khmer, with the same prices written in a foreign language underneath. In case of non-compliance, legal action will ensue,” it added.