Published on : Tuesday, January 24, 2017
From the next week onwards, foreigners would be required to shell out almost twice as much to arrive in the most popular tourist attraction of Cambodia, ‘Angkor Wat’. This has given rise to speculation whether the tourism industry of Cambodia would suffer consequently.
Angkor Wat is an ancient temple complex that can be dated back to the 12th century and is known to attract more than 2 million foreign visitors every year.
This generates about US$ 62.5 million from ticket sales last year. The amount is expected to escalate this year after the new entrance fees are introduced from 1st February 2017. The price of a one-day pass would increase, from US$20 to US$37 marking an increase of 85%. On the other hand, a three-day pass would cost around US$60 and a week-long pass would cost US$72 that marks an increase from US$40 and US$62 respectively.
Though the increase are quite massive, and this is for the first time in 22 years, tourism industry professionals feel that travellers would not be discouraged from visiting this region that is a premier destination in Cambodia.
Ly Se who is the executive director of Angkor Enterprise, a government organization dealing with ticket sales at the Angkor Archaeological Park said that there are over 100 temples and US$37 for each day is much cheaper than many other places. He is optimistic and feels that tourists would continue to visit Angkor Wat despite the steep price rise.
But then, the same confidence is lacking amongst some local tour operators.
Most of them have questioned the clarity of imposing such a price rise decision. Most of their clients happen to be Europeans. In fact, Europeans have accounted for about a quarter of the visitors to Angkor Wat last year. They are anxious about the impacts of price rise on a weak European economy, especially after Brexit.
However, Chhay Sivlin, the President of the Cambodia Association of Travel Agents (CATA) told a media agency that though the county is likely to experience as slight drop in tourists, they would be able to draw tourists constantly. They might just need to adjust the costing to a certain extent.
Yet, the prices would continue to be affordable for tour operators as well as tourists.