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UNWTO lauds Cambodia for responsible restart of tourism

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Health workers take the temperature of Khmer New Year revellers in Siem Reap town on August 17. Siem Reap provincial administration

UNWTO lauds Cambodia for responsible restart of tourism

The UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) secretary-general Zurab Pololikashvili commended the government for putting in place effective measures to contain the Covid-19 pandemic while resuming its domestic tourism.

In a letter to Prime Minister Hun Sen on August 21, Pololikashivili thanked the Kingdom for its active involvement in UNWTO’s activities during the pandemic.

“We are delighted to see that Cambodia has gradually restarted its domestic tourism in a controlled manner and has put in place all the necessary safety and hygiene protocols as well as the requisite guidelines at tourist sites. This responsible restart is highly recommended by WTO.

“As you are aware, UNWTO is facilitating the reopening of tourism in cooperation with member countries and international organisations through the development of guidelines and recommendations for a safe and responsible restart of tourism activities,” he said.

Pololikashivili said the recent replacement Khmer New Year holiday had contributed to facilitating a safe and responsible restart of tourism in the country.

According to a Ministry of Tourism report, there were 1.45 million people travelling during the rescheduled holiday from August 17-21. Of the number, 14,000 were foreign tourists. Domestic tourists spent more than $100 million during the five-day holiday, the report said.

Cambodia Association of Travel Agents (Cata) president Chhay Sivlin said the UNWTO’s letter of appreciation could encourage international tourists to travel in the Kingdom.

“The letter is a positive sign for Cambodia. It showed that we have received international attention for carrying out safety measures well. We are happy as we have demonstrated that we can bring Covid-19 under control. It can encourage people across the world to consider visiting Cambodia,” she said.

Sivlin said during the holiday she had observed that Cambodians practised safety and hygiene measures well, especially at tourist attractions, with revellers wearing facemasks and maintaining social distancing.

The authorities, she said, had also prepared sanitisers for disinfection the virus and constantly reminded people to practice safety measures.

Within two weeks until Thursday, Cambodia had not recorded any new cases of Covid-19. Of the 273 cases recorded since January, 264 have recovered and been discharged from hospitals. No one has died from the virus.

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