Cambodia: 3rd Safest Tourist Destination Amidst Covid-19

The World Health Organization (WHO) has recognized the Kingdom as one of the best in terms of Covid-19 containment and mitigation. This led into Cambodia’s yet another milestone to earning the spot as the 3rd Safest Tourist Destination among 166 nations across the world.

WHO Regional Director for Western Pacific, Dr. Takeshi Kasai, commended the nation for decisive action particularly in responding to the flare of cases last November, and the government’s leaders for setting a good example in health practices.

This is good news for the tourism sector, one of the nation’s top industries and among the hardest hit in light of the pandemic. 

Top Sopheak, spokesman of the Ministry of Tourism, assures that the they already have a roadmap laid out for rehabilitating the sector and continuous promotion past the coronavirus era. This move will further boost the confidence of the tourists in the hope to regain the growth of the tourism sector.

According to Phay Siphan, a government spokesman, this accomplishment is attributed to the proactive leadership of Prime Minister Hun Sen coupled with the support and cooperation of Cambodian citizens and local residents.

Expedited releasing of government funds and mobilization of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces were among measures taken by the Prime Minister directed towards border control as well as immediate hospitalization for those who have tested positive. 

At the same time, businesses like retail shops, restaurants and other local establishments continue to implement hand sanitation and wearing of masks as regular precautions against Covid-19. 

The country’s tally of confirmed cases remains at 478 with 18 active, and no deaths. 

Moreover, mass vaccination officially began on Wednesday, February 10, using 600,000 dose donated by China. Most of these have been reserved for frontline health workers, and the military who are at the forefront of ensuring strict quarantine measures for people arriving in Cambodia. 

With the influx of foreign tourists highly affected by the global situation, the Cambodia Hotel Association (CHA) nevertheless calls for stricter crisis management from other countries towards a rebound in tourism. 

CHA President Clais Chenda lamented, “During the past year of the pandemic, some hotels… almost closed down, while others reduced their operations,”—a sight that any resident could attest to, particularly in the tourist hub which is Siem Reap City. 

Chenda had held a meeting with other hotel industry stakeholders last month to devise more strategies in sustaining tourist arrivals to a certain extent. 

Dr. Li Ailan, WHO representative to Cambodia, also congratulated the Kingdom reiterating that “Early detection, rapid response with targeted interventions are essential to the success!” 

Similarly, the nation ranked 3rd among 166 others studied by the Bureau de Prospective Economique (BPE) in handling the pandemic, and 1st among 45 countries in the Asia-Pacific. 

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