The 9th Sea Festival, hosted by Preah Sihanouk province from December 9-11 along with the December 9-14 World-Bays conference, has drawn a throng of local and international visitors.

And as in previous year, the provincial authorities have repeatedly called on vendors and traders to maintain a high level of honesty and integrity in how they do business as this is an opportunity for Cambodia to build a good reputation for its coastal resort areas.

When questioned, most vendors and traders selling various goods during the festival claimed that they have followed the request of the provincial authorities and did not raise their prices for the occasion.

Sok Heng, a student helping his mother sell grilled squid along the beach, said he had not raised his prices at all over the weekend and would only do so if the cost of squid at the market went up.

“On a normal day, I can sell 5kg, but on weekends or festivals, I can sell up to 10kg or a little more,” he said.

He said that recently his sales have increased significantly with the opening of the Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville Expressway, and that during the Sea Festival they increased further still.

Another vendor, Udom, who owns a grocery store, also said he kept his prices the same as before.

“Even though there are a lot of customers, my shop did not take any opportunity to take advantage of customers,” he said.

The vendor expressed satisfaction with the provincial administration for organising a series of events that have allowed him and other traders to earn extra income from tourists.

On the other hand, as a resident, he is happy when his province is well cared for and tidy because it not only attracts local tourists but also foreign visitors.

At the meeting to review the progress of the 9th Sea Festival on December 7, Minister of Tourism Thong Kong said the event is not only a festival, but also an opportunity to educate people about cleanliness and promote the meaning of the festival, which is respect and appreciation for the marine and coastal environs.

In addition, he also instructed the vendors on the provision of accommodations and catering services to tourists as well as paying attention to price management and rubbish disposal for both business locations and in public places.