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Post-Covid-19: Tourism in Cambodia flourishes ... thanks to where?
Date : 2020-06-17

Khmer Times daily published an analysis by the Asian Vision Institute - based in Singapore on the impact and impact of the Covid-19 epidemic on the Cambodian tourism industry.

It is undeniable that the Covid-19 pandemic broke most businesses, industries and strongly affected tourism in general and tourism in particular. Countries are implementing various controls to try to monitor and minimize the spread of the Corona virus. Therefore, the blockade and movement control have been widely used, which has stopped the operation of the global tourism industry because all activities of the people are limited.

In Southeast Asia, countries are suffering from the decline in Chinese tourists since the outbreak of Covid-19.

In Cambodia, there have been 2,865 tourism businesses declared ceased operations or closed. The Covid-19 epidemic is devastating the Cambodian economy because tourism is one of the key industries besides textiles and footwear, accounting for 80% of the country's export value.

The New Straits Times reports that Cambodian tourism contributes 12.1% of the country's GDP and employs 630,000 people. Employees working in the Cambodian tourism industry will panic for fear that unemployment will have a negative impact on the economy and society if this situation is not resolved quickly. Although businesses in the tourism sector closed since mid-March 2020, more than 190,000 domestic and international tourists have visited resorts and tourist destinations in Cambodia. This is a clear sign that although people cannot travel abroad, people still try to travel in the country. The question is, is this activity safe and sustainable? It is possible to travel if each of the parties involved is responsible for health. As recommended by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), tourists, local communities and all parts of the tourism value chain must play a role in community health priority. UNWTO points out the need for safety and health measures to ensure that tourism is truly safe. A recent UNWTO article stated: “Trust is the new currency. If the people believe that the government and the tourism industry give priority to the health of the people, surely people will travel again. ”

In Cambodia, the tourism industry has prospered again. The number of tourists coming to Cambodia is a good sign for this country because tourism contributes to economic growth in the current economic downturn. However, if not strictly controlled, this could be a "double-edged sword" with a second wave of infectious diseases likely to spread throughout the country. To prevent that from happening, policymakers should take clear measures on all travel agencies and force travelers to comply with medical regulations to ensure sustainability. and travel safety. "

Famous destinations and attractions that attract the most tourists from Cambodia such as Angkor Wat and many other temples ..., should limit the number of tourists coming from time to time. According to the World Economic Forum, tourists tend to visit destinations that are heavily visited. Managing the number of arrivals plays a very important role in public health precautionary measures of "social gap" to minimize the risk of virus spread. In addition, it is imperative for all tourists, tour guides and staff working at tourist sites to follow proper hygiene practices, such as wearing a mask all the time. Disinfection stations and disinfectant wipes are provided around locations or areas with high traffic.

However, it is imperative to ensure these guidelines are made known to the public. Therefore, different media should be used to convey messages with more creativity such as encouraging the use of video or social networking platforms as they can effectively disseminate information. Moreover, at present young travelers and even families are more interested in ecotourism, adventure travel and exploration of coastal islands and remote provinces. This points to a change in consumer behavior in the tourism sector in Cambodia due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Instead of flocking to crowded tourist destinations, travelers prefer to choose places that allow for really "social spacing". Remote tourism locations will be preferred over urban destinations because avoiding crowded places will be a new tourist trend.

 

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