Tourists urged not to skip trip

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Passengers at the Phnom Penh international airport in March. German Embassy

The Ministry of Tourism has called on international tourists not to cancel trips to Cambodia, but urged them to adhere to several dos and don’ts when arriving in the Kingdom during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The ministry released an eight-point instruction manual on Wednesday published in Khmer, English, Chinese, Japanese, Thai and French.

“Please do not cancel your trip to Cambodia. You can consider delaying or changing your destination. We have many airlines and hotels waiving ticket and booking fees and offering a rebooking policy to suit your needs.”

The Ministry also urged tourists to follow the government’s rules, especially those returning from Covid-19 infected areas.

All foreign tourists must have adequate medical insurance to travel to Cambodia during this period. While visiting, they must maintain good hygiene practices by washing their hands thoroughly with soap or hand sanitiser.

Tourists should also not forget to cover their mouth and nose with tissues or their sleeves when coughing or sneezing.

The ministry encouraged tourists to share their positive experiences in Cambodia on social media and to remain calm, cautious and not panic.

“Do not discriminate! While you are concerned about your health during the Covid-19 outbreak, you must not discriminate based on race, especially with tourists and groups of people from infected areas,” the ministry said.

Last week, the ministry reported that Cambodia had lost about $5 billion in tourism revenue due to the Covid-19 crisis.

Ministry of Tourism spokesperson Top Sopheak said on Thursday that Cambodia was a safe destination as the government was working to improve its tourism sector in terms of service and quality.

“We appeal to foreigners not to cancel their trips if they are already booked to arrive in Cambodia but cannot come here due to Covid-19.

“Please postpone your trips until the world opens its doors. Please visit Cambodia as a safe tourist destination. We have properly prepared and implemented health rules for the tourism sector to ensure comfort,” Sopheak said.

He said international tourists were not visiting the Kingdom due to Covid-19 and travel restrictions imposed by many countries, including Cambodia.

There are business tourists, investors, and foreign tourists staying in Cambodia.

The Ministry of Tourism is also preparing a 15-year master plan for tourism development in Siem Reap province to make it more attractive for locals.

The ministry predicts that by 2035, international tourism will bring in $4.8 million and domestic tourism will reach $1.3 million.