The prolongation of the Covid-19 crisis has resulted in a near total loss of foreign visitors to Angkor Archaeological Park and revenue from ticket sales over the first nine months of this year, newly published figures show.
Angkor Enterprise, the institution in charge of the temple complex’s income management, reported 6,167 ticket sales to the tune of $253,809 over January-September, down by 98.44 per cent and 98.62 per cent in volume and value.
And last month alone, the state-owned enterprise logged 228 ticket sales raking in $9,281 in revenue, slumping by 92.27 per cent and 92.53 per cent in volume and value from September 2020.
Pacific Asia Travel Association (Pata) Cambodia chapter chairman Thourn Sinan said the ongoing regional and global Covid-19 epidemics continue to plague the tourism sector, although some countries, including Cambodia, have opened or plan to reopen their economies soon.
He said: “Although the government plans to reopen the local economy – but not yet to foreign tourists – revenue from ticket sales to the temples will continue to decline, as the current majority of visitors to Cambodia are businesspeople or foreigners working in our country who have already visited Angkor Wat.”
According to Sinan, the government will prioritise Preah Sihanouk province over Siem Reap in its plans to reopen tourism for vaccinated travellers.
“If Siem Reap does not take the risk to reopen tourism like Preah Sihanouk province did, things for those who make a living in the industry may worsen and worsen and completely collapse.
“Remaining on this course could have serious consequences in the long run. I have said many times that Siem Reap should not rely solely on tourism, we should also look at agriculture and industry for sustainable economic growth,” he proposed.
The entrance fee to the park is $37 for a one-day visit, $62 for a three-day ticket and $72 dollars for a week-long pass, according to Angkor Enterprise’s price list.
Last year, international visitors bought 400,889 tickets to the park for $18,654,828, marking sharp year-on-year declines of 81.82 per cent and 81.17 per cent in volume and value, Angkor Enterprise reported.
From January-July, Cambodia received 112,544 international visitors, down by 90.6 per cent year-on-year, according to data from the Ministry of Tourism.