Cambodia struggles to drive tourism recovery

International Business News  –  Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen said that under the many uncertainties brought about by the global epidemic and the Russian-Ukrainian war, Cambodia’s current tourism industry cannot rely on Chinese and foreign tourists. Mr Hun Sen believes that domestic tourism will boost tourism, so Cambodia needs to upgrade infrastructure leading to tourist attractions, as well as improve mobile phone signal and internet coverage in remote tourist areas.

The Cambodian Ministry of Tourism held a conference on July 14 to summarize the work in the first half of 2022 and launch a tourism recovery plan for the second half of the year.

Cambodian Tourism Minister Tang Kun said that as Cambodia returns to its pre-epidemic state of opening, in the first half of 2022, inbound foreign visitors will reach 500,000, an increase of nearly 4 times compared to the same period in 2021. The Ministry of Tourism predicts that inbound foreign visitors are expected to reach 1 million or more this year.

Tang Kun said that with the positive development of regional and global tourism, especially China is expected to lift the COVID-Zero policy next year, the recovery of Cambodian tourism will accelerate.

In his speech, Hun Sen talked about the many challenges facing the recovery of the tourism industry. Hun Sen suggested that the tourism ministry adjust its recovery plan and not rely too much on Chinese and foreign tourists.

“The tourism ministry’s forecast is if China lifts the zero policy. But what if it doesn’t?” Hun Sen said.

Hun Sen said that the ongoing global epidemic, the Russian-Ukrainian war and the massive sanctions imposed by many countries have disrupted the global order. In particular, the surge in international oil prices has pushed up the cost of air tickets and travel, making the recovery of regional and global tourism full of uncertainties.

Hun Sen said that after the domestic epidemic was basically brought under control, 300,000 people traveled all over the country every week, propping up half of the tourism industry during the epidemic. Hun Sen suggested that the Ministry of Tourism adjust the tourism recovery plan to target the tourism consumption business opportunities of Chinese people. Hun Sen urged authorities to upgrade infrastructure to tourist attractions, as well as improve mobile phone signal and mobile network coverage in remote tourist attractions.

Hun Sen said: “All telecommunications companies should improve the mobile phone signal and network coverage of various tourist attractions, because to attract tourists to remote areas, they must have a signal and network, because some tourists work while traveling.”