Cambodia fears tourism fallout due to tensions

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cambodia_protestTourism companies in Cambodia are concerned that tensions rising due to opposition protests that started on August 30 and will culminate in a mass rally on September 7 in Phnom Penh will have an effect on tourism numbers.

Travel companies in Siem Reap, home of the world-renowned Angkor Wat temple complex that is a mainstay of the country’s key tourism industry, called on Prime Minister Hun Sen and opposition leader Sam Rainsy to quickly resolve a festering election dispute that they say is threatening business prospects.

With no new government more than one month after the polls on July 28 and additional military forces, tanks, and armored personnel carriers deployed in Phnom Penh, tourism businesses are worried that the uncertainty and security concerns will keep visitors at bay.

Thuon Sinang, president of the Pacific Cambodia Tourism Association, said he fears mass demonstrations would hurt business, especially if they prompt a government crackdown.

“If the massive demonstration occurs for a short period there might not be a large effect but if the demonstration continues for longer, tourism will be affected,” he told RFA’s Khmer Service. He said he was “very concerned” about what would happen if protests were put down with “violent action.”

So far the political deadlock has not yet produced a decline in tourism, according to Tourism Department Director Ngouv Sengkak. Over the past 7 months, some 1.2 million tourists visited Siem Reap in a 6.6 percent increase over the same period last year, he told RFA. But tourist agencies are concerned tourism revenue could be affected over the long run.

King Norodom Sihamoni on August 30  made an impassioned call for unity, saying the election dispute should be resolved based on the country’s constitution, the country’s “supreme law that we respect.”

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

Tourism companies in Cambodia are concerned that tensions rising due to opposition protests that started on August 30 and will culminate in a mass rally on September 7 in Phnom Penh will have an effect on tourism numbers.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

cambodia_protestTourism companies in Cambodia are concerned that tensions rising due to opposition protests that started on August 30 and will culminate in a mass rally on September 7 in Phnom Penh will have an effect on tourism numbers.

Travel companies in Siem Reap, home of the world-renowned Angkor Wat temple complex that is a mainstay of the country’s key tourism industry, called on Prime Minister Hun Sen and opposition leader Sam Rainsy to quickly resolve a festering election dispute that they say is threatening business prospects.

With no new government more than one month after the polls on July 28 and additional military forces, tanks, and armored personnel carriers deployed in Phnom Penh, tourism businesses are worried that the uncertainty and security concerns will keep visitors at bay.

Thuon Sinang, president of the Pacific Cambodia Tourism Association, said he fears mass demonstrations would hurt business, especially if they prompt a government crackdown.

“If the massive demonstration occurs for a short period there might not be a large effect but if the demonstration continues for longer, tourism will be affected,” he told RFA’s Khmer Service. He said he was “very concerned” about what would happen if protests were put down with “violent action.”

So far the political deadlock has not yet produced a decline in tourism, according to Tourism Department Director Ngouv Sengkak. Over the past 7 months, some 1.2 million tourists visited Siem Reap in a 6.6 percent increase over the same period last year, he told RFA. But tourist agencies are concerned tourism revenue could be affected over the long run.

King Norodom Sihamoni on August 30  made an impassioned call for unity, saying the election dispute should be resolved based on the country’s constitution, the country’s “supreme law that we respect.”

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