Archive for January 21st, 2009

The Number of Tourists Is Not Expected to Increase This Year – Tuesday, 20.1.2009

Posted on 21 January 2009. Filed under: Week 596 |

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The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 596

“In 2009, tourism companies do not expect that the number of tourists will increase due to the global economic crisis and the confrontation between the Cambodian and the Thai military. Although there is no new destruction and the situation is quiet, the number of tourists will not increase this year.

“The president of the Cambodia Association of Travel Agents, Mr. Ho Vandy, said that there are four major issues preventing Cambodian tourism to grow, and these are: the prices of flights and of transportation services in Cambodia are expensive compared to neighboring countries; Cambodia does not have a national airline; tourism advertisements are still limited; and Cambodia lacks a policy to attract local tourists, because services in Cambodia are expensive, so that the number of tourists does not grow.

“Expenses for transportation are high. First transportation by air, and then transportation by land have to be considered, and then other expenses, especially for accommodation, have to be added. There are additional expenses, including visa fees and airport taxes. Mr. Ho Vandy compared the expenses for traveling in Cambodia to costs in Thailand and Vietnam, and concluded that Cambodia is more expensive. Comparing air transportation, just considering a flight from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap is enough. Mr. Ho Vandy added, ‘A flight from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap [approx. 230 km] costs between US$150 and US$160, but local air transpiration from Bangkok to Chiang Mai, which takes one hour and a half over a distance of between 700 km and 800 km [actually, by air, approx. 570 km], costs just between US$120 to US$130 for a return ticket.

“He went on to say, ‘From Hanoi, the price of a plane ticket is under US$150. People ask why are our costs so high,when our distance to travel is lower? That is a point where broad cooperation is necessary to find improvements.’ It should be noted that according to a report of the Ministry of Tourism, the number of tourists to Cambodia in 2008 was around 2,150,000.

“The Minster of Tourism, Mr. Thong Khon, said that tourists visiting Cambodia came mainly from the following five important countries South Korea, Japan, the United States of America, China, and Vietnam.

“Recently, the Khmer government signed an agreement with Kuwait from the Middle East for direct flights to Cambodia.

“Mr. Ho Vandy said that foreign tourists stayed in Cambodia from four to five day on average.

“At present, the major tourism sites of Cambodia are Phnom Penh, Sihanoukville, and Siem Reap, which has many temples.

“Recently, Cambodia also tried to attract tourists to visit the Preah Vihear Temple region, but this effort failed after there were border disputes with Thailand that have not yet been solved.

“Tourists might stay in Cambodia longer when Cambodia will develop more tourism centers and regions, where in some tourism regions there are villages and communes, and some potential institutions have not yet organized themselves. But before foreign tourists should visit those places, it is necessary to first attract local tourists to see those attractions first and visit those places, then foreign tourists will follow.

“To encourage local tourists is also an important starting point to increase foreign tourism and community based tourism.

“This is what can be considered to be a deficit, because communes, and their village and commune chiefs, must understand how to attract tourists. For example, decorating a village or a commune with flowers, or painting fences, or organizing things neatly, are attractions which can lead to some villages being called Model Villages or beautiful villages. Tourists stay longer as long as we have things to attract them. When they stay longer, they will spend more.” Khmer Aphivoath Sethakech, Vol.7, #326, 20.1.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Cheat Khmer, Vol.1, #7, 20.1.2009

  • [A well-known singer] Pov Panhapich Leaves Hospital and Rents House to Guarantee Her Safety [her sister said that her family takes her from the Charey Hospital because they do not have enough money to pay the hospital – Vietnam]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #1851, 20.1.2009

  • The Private Bopha Meas Clinic Is Still Irritated with the Circular of the Ministry of Health, and the Recommendations of Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen [banning private ambulances to pick up patients]
  • Cambodia Has Provided Life Extending Medicines to 90% of People Who Have Contracted AIDS [according to the Ministry of Health, from 2001 to 2008, people were offered ARV medicines [antiretroviral drugs], among them were 3,067 children]
  • Siam [Thailand] Is Strongly Condemned because of Sending Boats with Migrants to the Sea [and letting them drift – maybe to death – according to Agence France Presse]

Khmer Aphivoath Sethakech, Vol.7, #326, 20.1.2009

  • The Number of Tourists Is Not Expected to Increase This Year

Khmer Sthapana, Vol.2, #187, 20.1.2009

  • Civil Society Officials Support Sub-Decree of the Government Ordering Male and Female Civil Servants to Retire when Reaching the Retirement Age [at 55]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6556, 20.1.2009

  • Primary Hearings of [the former Tuol Sleng prison chief] “Duch” Are Announced to Be Held on 17 February 2009 and on the Following Days
  • An Australian Man Who Looked Down On the Thai King [through his book] Is Sentenced to Serve Three Years in Prison

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.16, #3670, 20.1.2009

  • [The president of the opposition Sam Rainsy Party] Sam Rainsy: Corruption Can Block the Implementation of the Circular about Retirement of Civil Servants

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4799, 20.1.2009

  • On the Firth Day, [more than 100] Protestors Offered Pig Heads and Continued to Burn Car Tires [to demand the release of their three representatives, arrested over a land dispute], while the Siem Reap Primary Court Was Closed
  • The National Election Committee Announces that There Are 3,235 Provincial-City and District Councils [for the elections on 17 May 2009]
  • Khmer Kite [Kleng Ek] Wins an International First Prize [at the international kite-flying competition in India with 31 participating countries]
  • A Khmer Painter in the United States of America [Mr. Thana Ep] Wins Commonwealth Awards
  • A Concert Was Held to Welcome Barack Obama Taking Office [on 19 January 2009, with more than half a million people taking part]

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