Minister Issues Warning On Festive Price Hikes

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Tourism Minister Thong Khon says all businesses have a duty to communicate fixed prices. KHMER TIMES / CHOR SOKUNTHEA

The Minister of Tourism has threatened to fine and withdraw the licenses of business owners who do not display the price of goods and services over Khmer New Year, especially during the Angkor Sankranta celebrations in Siem Reap. The warning was made on Friday at a Ministry of Tourism meeting with the Union Youth Federations of Cambodia, which organises Angkor Sankranta.

In the meeting, Tourism Minister Thong Khon said all local businesses and tourism providers have a duty to communicate fixed prices to customers so authorities can monitor what they are doing and consumers are protected from paying over the odds.

“The Ministry is issuing this decree to remind all local businesses and tourism services to display prices,” he said. “The Ministry will revoke the tourism licenses of those who do not.”

The Minister also called on local businesses to improve their services to visitors, urging people not to close their companies over Angkor Sankranta, but to offer employees time off work after Khmer New Year instead.

The 5th Angkor Sankranta will run from April 14 to 16 in Siem Reap and promises an entertainment program unlike previous years. The Minister has already asked local authorities to work on making the city look its best and prevent traffic congestion, while maintaining public order, security and sanitation.

Chhay Sivlin, the president of the Cambodia Association of Travel Agents, backed the Ministry’s decree. She said business owners and tourism operators have too often taken the opportunity to increase the price of food, services and goods during popular events, which damages the country’s reputation.

“We have experienced many price increases in the past, which affects domestic and international tourism,” she said. “This decree will prevent unfair price increases. And if people do want to increase their prices, they will have to show customers, who can decide whether to accept it.”

This article was originally published by the Khmer Times.