In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and in the hope that tourism will bounce back soon in the Kingdon, the Cambodian Ministry of Tourism has announced new safety guidelines and codes of conduct for tourism businesses.
Tourism businesses in Cambodia will now be required to be trained in Covid-19 response techniques said the Ministry. Importantly, the guidelines also layout additional conditions for all tourism businesses that plan on renewing their business licences with failures to do so results in an immediate suspension of their licence reports the Phnom Penh Post.
It is hoped the training will coincide with the “re-emergence of domestic and international travel and the gradual reopening of tourism businesses.”
Bars, clubs and KTVs have remained shut since March 17 by the Ministry of Health, while gyms and schools also remain closed.
Tourism Capacity Building Programme in Response to Covid-19
Under the new initiative, all staff working in tourism businesses will need to be trained in the Tourism Capacity Building Programme in Response to Covid-19.
The businesses such as hotels, guesthouses, resorts and tourism transportation are required to follow the guidelines and tests.
- New rules will be published within 20 days (from June 7th 2020) and businesses will have 20 days from the publication date to implement them before the ministry starts conducting reviews.
- The training will be provided online and require advance registration.
- A test will be given to evaluate the employees’ knowledge at the end of the training.
- On completion of the training and the test is passed, a business will receive a certificate to be displayed for visitors.
The ministry reports that around 2,956 tourism-related business in Cambodia has closed, with 45,405 people unemployed as a result.
You can read more about the requirements for foreigners to enter Cambodia during COVID-19.
Domestic tourism in Cambodia
From January to April 2020, Cambodia had around 1.16 million international tourist arrivals, which represents a 52% decrease according to figures from the Ministry of Tourism.
The number of passengers in May 2020 dropped by 98% in all three international airports in Cambodia. Cambodia Airports said, “In May 2019, the three airports recorded 900,067 passengers but for this May, we registered just 18,135”. The drop is obviously linked to the lack of flights and travel restrictions caused by COVID-19.
However, there are some positive signs for domestic tourism in the Kingdom of Cambodia. In the first three weeks of May 2020, Cambodia had nearly 400,000 tourist visitors which included 390,922 domestic tourists. It should be noted there were also a number of public holidays in Cambodia in that period.
There is a shift to promoting community tourism sites in preparation to welcome Cambodian visitors with no huge increase in foreign tourists expected in the near future.
The Ministry of Tourism and Cambodia Association of Travel Agents (CATA), “urged domestic tourists to travel within the country to boost and support the economic activities during the COVID-19 pandemic” said the Khmer Times.