Declining Number of Tourists Affects the Livelihood of Those Providing Tourism Services – Monday, 17.11.2008

Posted on 18 November 2008. Filed under: Week 587 |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 587

“Phnom Penh: The global financial crisis and the internal political crisis in Thailand, which led to the Cambodian-Thai border disputes, are the major reasons, seen by expert officials, that makes the number of tourists to Cambodia decline. The decline in the number of tourists during the starting tourism season in Siem Reap, an important economic center, is directly affecting the everyday livelihood of those providing tourism services in this former capital of Angkor.
“The Minister of Tourism recognized that the global financial crisis and the confrontation with Thailand in the Preah Vihear region slows the number of tourists to Cambodia down, but Cambodia will make all efforts to guarantee the safety of tourists, and to promote the further growth of tourism.
“Mr. Tan Bunchhay, a taxi driver of a three-wheeler moto – which is mostly known as a Tuk-Tuk – said, ‘Every year, during November, there were many tourists to carry…, but this year it is not so, and it is somewhat difficult to cover the needs of the everyday economy.’ This driver and many other people, whose jobs are to directly provide tourism services, are facing difficulties in their daily livelihood, because the number of tourists visiting the region of this former capital declines, making it difficult for them to find income to support their families.
“As for Mr. Theng Lay, who is also a three-wheeler moto taxi driver, posted in front of a hotel in Siem Reap, complained similarly that it is difficult to earn one’s everyday living, because the number of drivers increased, while the number of tourists does not increase much. It is reported that there are at least more than 2,000 drivers in Siem Reap. Moreover, also, hotel services and restaurants face the lack of tourists. There were many tourists during this month last year, and the provision of services was hectic.
“The owner of the Mlub Tnot Angkor Restaurant [‘Shade of Angkor Palm Trees’], Mr. Bun Try, noticed that the number of tourists during this season declined by approximately 20% compared to the same period last year. He said that this drop impacts badly on those earning their daily living depending on tourism.
“The loss of everyday jobs and income for the families is a consequence resulting from the decline in the number of tourists to Cambodia since July 2008.
“The president of the Cambodian Association of Travel Agents, Mr. Ho Vandy, said that it is true that the confrontation between Khmer and Thai troops at the Preah Vihear Temple tourism site, the political turmoil in Thailand, and the global financial crisis – the biggest problem – are recognized as reasons contributing to the decrease in the number of tourists visiting Cambodia in 2008. Cambodia expects that there might be approximately 2.5 million tourists in 2008, while in 2007, Cambodia received more than 2.1 million tourists, earning more than US$1.7 billion for the national budget. However, the expectation to receive more than 2.5 million tourists might change.
“The Minister of Tourism, Mr. Thong Khon, said that the global financial crisis and the confrontation in the Preah Vihear region with Thailand slow down the growth of tourism in Cambodia. Mr. Thong Khon explained that for those earning their everyday living depending on tourism, they say that the global financial crisis is a problem for the whole world, and it needs to be handled globally, but the Cambodian government must take action to attract tourists, like by solving different depressing problems in the sector of tourism services, by building good infrastructure to different touristic sites around Cambodia, by dealing with the military confrontation along the border regions as soon as possible, as well as by organizing various events attracting more tourists to visit Cambodia. The Minister of Tourism, Mr. Thong Khon, added that at present, the Cambodian government is implementing new policies to attract the attention of tourists to visit Cambodia, specifically by publicizing the potential of tourism to Cambodia in different countries, such as in Russia and in Arab countries, to add to the number of European tourists that is already big. Mr. Thong Khon pointed to the need to create new policies by the government to develop tourism to grow continually in the future.
“Nevertheless, the Cambodian government and those earning their daily living depending on tourism, especially in Siem Reap in the Angkor region, are optimistic that the number of tourists might increase again after the black cloud of the global financial crisis will have gone, and their livelihood might become richer again, while some three-wheeler moto drivers had already announced to sell their vehicles, because there are no tourists to be carried, which makes it impossible for them to find income to support their families, and some restaurants have to be closed temporarily, because there are no guests.
“According to the numbers mentioned by the Ministry of Tourism for the nine months of 2008, there were more than 1.5 million tourists to Cambodia; there was only a 10% increase compared to last year. The Cambodian government expects that foreign tourists might increase to not more than 2.2 million in 2008.” Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #140, 16-17.11.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Monday, 17 November 2008

Deum Tnot, Vol.1, #45, 17-18.11.2008

  • [Former Phnom Penh police chief] Heng Pov’s Case of Attempting to Kill General Sao Sokha [the commander of the National Military Police] Will Be Tried on 24 November 2008

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1769, 16-17.11.2008

  • Cambodia and Korea Discuss Trade in Information Technology and Telecommunication for 2008 [at the Hotel Cambodiana – according to Mr. Lee Sanggil, head of the Korean Delegation, the aim is to promote Cambodian information technology and telecommunication, to introduce information technology into the education sector, to develop the Internet infrastructure so that the price of Internet use gets cheaper, to offer cheaper computers, to develop computer contents and programs and more Khmer language content, and to develop the information technology industry in the country]
  • Preparation to Create a Khmer Kampuchea Krom Federation in Cambodia
  • At the Poipet Border Region, Many Small Children Are Forced and Exploited by Their Parents to Do Begging

Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #140, 16-17.11.2008

  • Declining Number of Tourists Affects the Livelihood of Those Providing Tourism Services
  • Brigadier Chea Soeun Uses Military Forces to Threaten and to Grab [111 hectares of] Citizens’ Land from 126 Families [Sihanoukville]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6501, 17.11.2008

  • [37 year-old] Mother and [8-year-old] Daughter Are Beheaded [and thrown into a canal] – Police Conclude that It Is a Rancor Regarding Witchcraft Beliefs [the woman was accused of witchcraft; perpetrators not yet identified – Kratie]
  • An Experienced Guitarist [and song writer, Mr. Chhay Sareth – also known as Khnoy] Calls on the Government to Strictly Implement Copyright Laws [otherwise music productions will face bankruptcy because of illegal copying]
  • Drunken Man Sleeping on Railroad Tracks Rolled Over by Train and Decapitated [Kampot]
  • Cremation Ceremony of Princess Galyani Vadhana, an Older Sister of the Thai King, Is Impressively Celebrated According to Buddhist Tradition [with more than 100,000 Thai citizens participating – 15 November 2008]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3615, 17.11.2008

  • Very Little Aid of Japan Reaches the Khmer Krom People [in Trà Vinh Province (in Khmer called Preah Trapeang) and in Sóc Trăng Province (in Khmer called Khleang) in Vietnam – the director of the US-based Khmer Krom Federation, Mr. Thach Nhok Thach, said that the US$1.2 million of Japan to help provide professional training for Khmer Kampuchea Krom citizens does not reach them fully, because there are more Vietnamese than Khmers receiving this training]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4744, 16-17.11.2008

  • Police Close the Case of the Son of Mr. Prum Ean, the Former President of the Chub Rubber Plantation [in Kompong Cham], Who Used a Weapon Illegally and Shot at a Worker – the Case Will Not Be Sent to a Court, Saying That there Is a Lack of Evidence [but the victim had received US$500 as monetary compensation]
  • A [27-year-old] Military Police Officer [Mr. Nguon Bunheng] Was Shot Dead by a Robber When Driving a Car to Hit the Robbers [while they were escaping on motorbikes; one of them was seriously injured, while the other one escaped – Chamkar Mon, Phnom Penh]
  • [Ousted former Thai Prime Minister] Thaksin Shinawatra and His Wife Pojaman Finished Their [32-years of] Marriage [on Friday, 14 November 2008 – he said, ‘We get divorced to make everyone feel good,’ while a political observe said that this divorce, according to the law, can help protect the property of this couple, which is mostly registered in Ms. Pojaman’s name]

Have a look at the last editorial – you can access it directly from the main page of the Mirror. – And please recommend us also to your colleagues and friends.

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