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Tourism Businesses Starting from Domestic Level, Urged to Get Ready for Reopening

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Phnom Penh: Minister of Tourism Thong Khon has urged the tourism businesses across the kingdom to be ready for the reopening in a “new normal” way. He says that in order to achieve the reopening, several factors need to be considered by the tourism business. He has stressed that the reopening relies on them. He made the announcement on Wednesday’s virtual meeting with the tourism sectors, stakeholders, and the capital-provincial administrations.

Minister Khon has emphasized that there are two factors need to be prioritised in the reopening preparation – external and internal factors. He explained that the external aspect involves psychological factors. It focuses on a high value to cleanliness, hygiene and safety. Then the internal factor refers to the readiness of the tourism business along with the new normal way including infrastructure, transportation, fitness, and human resources. He says, "Implementing tourism safety rules and implementing standard operating guidelines (SOPs) are vital to diversify tourism products in line with the new context of demand and supply."

The Minister has added that during the Covid-19 period, domestic tourism is considered by global experts, especially the UN World Tourism Organisation, as an effective and potential tool in rehabilitating the economy and society. He says, “Tourism in Cambodia is no different from other countries in the world, which must rely on domestic tourism to save the economy and the overall tourism situation.”

He has strongly advised on the use of technology in considering new business models in order to adapt to the actual socio-economic situation. As a conclusion, the Ministry of Tourism has requested tourism operators and all stakeholders to adapt and modify their business model in line with the “new normal” with continued vigilance by following the SOPs.

In addition, Capital-Provincial Administrations on behalf of the staff of the National Committee for the Development of Capital-Provincial Tourism were required to study and evaluate tourist destinations to welcome tourists safely. They need to identify the vaccination rates in a particular area where the tourist destination is located and prepare a response mechanism in case of an outbreak.

Minister Khon has stressed that by starting the preparation and the promotion in the domestic level of tourism, it is a stepping stone to the next level which is the reopening of the international area by implementing the “Strategic Plan for Safe Tourism”. He has also warned the tourism industry not to forget the safety and preparation for the upcoming Pchum Ben festival.

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