Richard Moor - Nov 1, 2021
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Cambodian authorities announced the partial reopening of the country to international travelers that have been vaccinated.

The much-touted reopening domino effect in Asia seems to be getting underway. Cambodia has now become the latest country to announce the reopening – at least partial.

Cambodia's Ministry of Tourism announced last week that the popular beach resorts of Sihanoukville and Koh Rong Island, as well as Dara Sakor - a resort area developed by China - reopen as early as Nov. 30. Meanwhile, the northern city of Siem Reap – the gateway to the world heritage site of Angkor Wat – will be added to the country's quarantine-free travel program in January.

International travelers must be able to prove they received two doses of the vaccine, have health insurance that covers Covid-19 treatment, and show a negative PCR test before departure and upon arrival in the country, according to the Tourism Ministry. Tourists must stay at least five days at the "pilot sites" and undergo another screening test before being allowed to explore other parts of Cambodia.

The kingdom escaped the worst of the pandemic in 2020, but has registered the bulk of the 118,000 covid infections so far since April 2021. Effective action has been taken against this: 96 percent of the adult Cambodian population has now been vaccinated.

Inspired by Thailand's Sandbox program, Cambodia's beleaguered tourism industry also wants to get back on track. The data show that the tourism revenue fell to $1 billion in 2020, down from nearly $5 billion in 2019, when the country welcomed 6.6 million visitors. This year's results are likely to be similar, with dire consequences for tourism employees.

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