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Cambodia sees drop in foreign tourists to famed Angkor


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PHNOM PENH, Sept. 1 (Xinhua) -- Cambodia has seen an 11-percent decline in the number of foreign tourists to the famed Angkor Archeological Park during the first eight months of 2019, said an official statement on Sunday.

 

The ancient park attracted 1.55 million foreign tourists during the January-August period this year, down 11 percent over the same period last year, said the state-owned Angkor Enterprise’s statement.

 

It added that the Southeast Asian nation made gross revenue of 69.4 million U.S. dollars from ticket sales to the foreigners visiting the park during the first eight months of the year, a decrease of 11.8 percent over the same period last year.

 

In August alone, the Angkor received 158,124 foreign visitors earning 7.15 million dollars from ticket sales, down 21.6 percent and 21.5 percent, respectively compared to the same month last year, it said.

 

China, the United States, and South Korea remained the largest sources of foreign arrivals to the park.

Cambodian Tourism Minister Thong Khon has pinned the blame on "zero dollar" tour companies for a slump in foreign tourists to the Angkor and vowed to take action against them.

 

"The decrease in international arrivals to the Angkor so far this year resulted from the zero-cost tours offered by some tour operators last year," he said at a tourism seminar in July, adding that "zero dollar" tour operators had discouraged tourists to re-visit Cambodia because they got ripped off them.

 

He said the "zero-dollar" tour companies took tourists to buy high-priced products, and the companies, or tour guides, got large kickbacks from the business owners.

 

"We're trying our best to bring the growth of tourists to the Angkor again... if any travel agents or tour operators are found offering zero-cost tours, they will not be allowed to continue their businesses anymore," he said. "This business practice has been damaging Cambodia's reputation and tourism."

 

Chhim Narith, Cambodian branch manager of Asian Overland Travel, said the hike of ticket prices two years ago was also a factor contributing to the fall of international arrivals to the site.

 

Since February 2017, the price for a one-day ticket to visit the Angkor rose from 20 dollars to 37 dollars, a three-day pass increased from 40 dollars to 62 dollars and a seven-day ticket climbed from 60 dollars to 72 dollars.

 

Located in northwestern Siem Reap province, the Angkor Archeological Park, inscribed on the World Heritage List of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 1992, is the kingdom's most popular tourist destination.

 

http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2019-09/01/c_138355135.htm

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If you want to be turned off visiting Angkor Wat, by other than the greedy fee hikes, check the tourist images on Google. In many photos, you can't even tell what you're looking at. The photos paint a horrendous exploration experience. I'm glad I saw them in 2004-5. It's unlikely I'll ever go back. 

 

There have been stories about the mounting destruction of the stone steps and walls by the tens of thousands of tourists. Goodbye Angkor Wat. It was nice knowing you.

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57 minutes ago, Kaoboi Bebobp said:

If you want to be turned off visiting Angkor Wat, by other than the greedy fee hikes, check the tourist images on Google. In many photos, you can't even tell what you're looking at. The photos paint a horrendous exploration experience. I'm glad I saw them in 2004-5. It's unlikely I'll ever go back. 

 

There have been stories about the mounting destruction of the stone steps and walls by the tens of thousands of tourists. Goodbye Angkor Wat. It was nice knowing you.

Same as you ; they keep packing people in they walk anywhere damaging the park, taking bits of rock. Seriously its the only worthwhile tourist attraction in Siam Reap. 

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First visit in 2002:Great back then. You could actually get pictures of the temples, bas reliefs, and sculptures without tourists in the way. Revisited in 2008 with my first digital camera to get better quality pictures :Was virtually impossible to get 'tourist free' pictures at the major temples. Can't even imagine what it looks like now :a circus with hordes of Chinese in every frame. 

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The sad thing is that many of the visitors are not especially interested in history or architecture. They are just ' doing ' the place.

 

Met three British girls in Khao Sahn who had ' done ' it and pronounced it ' ok ' but when asked about castles or cathedrals back in the UK they said they had never been to any and were not really into old ' stuff '

 

But they had ' done ' Angkhor and might ' do ' Ayuddhaya if they got bored on Ko Samui.

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32 minutes ago, thecyclist said:

First visit in 2002:Great back then. You could actually get pictures of the temples, bas reliefs, and sculptures without tourists in the way. Revisited in 2008 with my first digital camera to get better quality pictures :Was virtually impossible to get 'tourist free' pictures at the major temples. Can't even imagine what it looks like now :a circus with hordes of Chinese in every frame. 

I lived in S R. from 2004 to 2007. It was fantastic to visit Angkor. Early morning visits to Ta Phrom. I revisited S.R. in 2013. There was no chance to get to Ta Phrom and enjoy the peace and quiet. It now was noise and masses of people. They now even allow buses into historical park. Time for tourist nos. to go down.

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It's no surprise the way the whole place has been horribly mismanaged. As others mentioned, I first went in 2005 and it was busy but bearable. You could get some great photos if you went against the crowds in their typical tourist circuit - start at #3 and get ahead of everyone and then backtrack to 1 and 2 later after the crowds.

Went again last year just before the price increase and what a difference. Hordes of Chinese tour groups piling in and out of their buses at each stop. It was damn near impossible to get a good photo without crowds in the shot. Also the wear and tear on the temples was noticeable. 

The town itself has become Pattaya (san sex shows) with bars and <deleted> restaurants all over. Massive over-development and little planning have turned Siem Reap into a mess. 

The zero-dollar tour business is quite evident - large convention sized hotels on the outskirts filled with tour buses, large chinese food dining halls filled with tour buses, and large souvenir shops again filled with tour buses.

But given the close ties between the Hun Sen crowd and China I would imagine quite a few well connected Khmers are doing very, very well. And as usual the locals get the <deleted> end of the stick.

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Who want to pay $40 to see a few old temples and ruins ?  They should never have increased the ticket prices. Most tourists visiting Angkor only want to stay for a couple of hours.  
 

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5 minutes ago, balo said:

Who want to pay $40 to see a few old temples and ruins ?  They should never have increased the ticket prices. Most tourists visiting Angkor only want to stay for a couple of hours.  
 

Anyway who not totally insane cares ridiculous old stones ?

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The price pf admission to the Angkor Wat area keeps me from returning. I've been 5 times to Cambodia, but it's very hard to hustify that crazy high price; especially when the people still seem to be so poor and the government so corrupt

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4 hours ago, legend49 said:

Same as you ; they keep packing people in they walk anywhere damaging the park, taking bits of rock. Seriously its the only worthwhile tourist attraction in Siam Reap. 

In my opinion there are other interesting tourist attractions in or near Siem Reap. First, the superb Khmer Cultural Center with its associated gardens and parkland where live cultural music, dance and other activity shows are performed at various "villages". Second, the thrilling performances at the Phare Cambodian Circus (acrobats, not animals). Third, a visit to one of the floating villages on Tonle Sap. Fourth, a visit to the National Angkor Museum. Fifth, a visit to the quieter "genuine" silk farm out in the countryside (not one the Chinese flock to) where the workers operate a co-operative producing high quality silk products. Entrance is free and you see every working stage from growing mulberry bushes, silk worms and the dyeing and weaving of the silk. Sixth, there is a small "Killing Field" with temple and bone collection but not on the scale as that in Phnom Penh. Seventh, there is a landmine museum with associated school and accommodation for orphaned or injured children whose art is on display. And finally for all you "bar stool pundits" there is the nightly Pub Street - much more civilized these days now that the clutter of street mini-bars, electric cables and ghetto blasting music have been banned.

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