Latest tourism news on October 16

Fri, 10/16/2020 - 11:42

One of the most remarkable 5-star luxurious hotels in Siem Reap – Sofitel Angkor Phokeethra Golf & Spa Resort is set to reopen its doors on October 19 after temporarily closing when COVID-19 struck the Kingdom.

The reopening is sort of history repeating itself as the hotel officially opened for the first time in October 2000 and it will hold celebrations to mark the 20th anniversary.

The celebration will go on till the end of this year with exceptional events and special offers for everyone.

In April  the hotel had to temporarily close down because of COVID-19. The management has used the closure to continue renovations in many areas.

Cambodian people across the country this morning commemorated the eighth year anniversary of His Majesty the King-Father Samdech Preah Norodom Sihanouk (Preah Borom Ratanak Kaudh)’s passing away.

High-ranking delegations of the Senate, National Assembly and government as well as other institutions took turn to lay wreaths at the late King-Father’s Memorial Statue, located in a public park, east of the Monument of Independence in Phnom Penh.

Meanwhile, government ministries and institutions, and municipal and provincial authorities also held ceremonies to pray for the soul of Preah Borom Ratanak Kaudh.

October 15 is set to be a national holiday in Cambodia to commemorate the late King-Father’s sacrifice for the nation.

His Majesty the King-Father Samdech Preah Norodom Sihanouk passed away on Oct. 15, 2012 at 01:20 am (time in Phnom Penh) in Beijing, China at the age of 90 from natural causes.

Samdech Preah Norodom Sihanouk was born on Oct. 31, 1922. He was the only son of HRH Prince Norodom Suramarit and HRH Princess Sisowath Kossomak Nearirath Serey Vatthana.

Prolonged heavy rains and upstream floodwater from the Huong River have engulfed the UNESCO heritage Hue Imperial Citadel, a top tourist destination in Vietnam.

Over the past two days, Hue Imperial Citadel in Hue Town of Thua Thien-Hue Province, formerly home to the Nguyen Dynasty (1802-1945), Vietnam's last royal family, was submerged up to 0.5 meters.Central Vietnam has been battered by torrential downpours since last Tuesday that triggered heavy flooding and wreaked havoc across the region, leaving at least 29 people dead and 12 others missing.

Many roads inside the citadel are submerged by about 30-60 cm as pictured on Monday.Hue Imperial Citadel was built under King Gia Long (reigning 1802- 1820), the first Nguyen Dynasty ruler, and restored under King Minh Mang (1820-1839), the second.

Some streets in Hue lie 0.5 meters under water, forcing residents to commute by boat.

Ngan Gate to the left of Ky Dai Hue (Hue Flag Tower), located in front of the citadel, is also submerged under water. This is one of the 10 main gates into the citadel.

Hien Nhon Gate, located on the east side of the citadel near Doan Thi Diem Street, is turned into a river.

The courtyard outside Thai Hoa Palace stands submerged. The citadel is temporarily closed to tourists due to the impacts of the serious flooding.

A woman walks past Ngo Mon Gate, the main entrance to the citadel, which is flooded under 30 cm of water.

Residents living around the citadel flock to Ngo Mon Gate to catch fish brought from the floodwater into the citadel.

Nguyen Tam Thanh, 58, a security guard at the citadel, walks amid the floodwater. "I’ve worked here for 30 years. The water level now is only a little less than the historic 1999 flood," said Thanh.

Nghenh Luong Dinh (Nghenh Luong Pavilion) beside the Huong River is still submerged under water.It is one of two relics in the ancient capital of Hue to grace the VND50,000 ($2.16) bill since 2003. The other relic printed on Vietnam's VND50,000 banknote is Phu Van Lau, Pavilion of Edicts.

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The Cambodian Cultural Village, a unique attraction in Siem Reap city, has announced that it will close for business next month after 17 years of operating due to a lack of visitors.

In a statement yesterday, the management said that the attraction is set to close on November 7 due to COVID-19 and the negative effects it has had on tourism.

The company said it has been facing economic and financial difficulties and it can no longer cover the costs of running the village.

However, the management said that they will pay compensation to all employees in accordance with the labour law.

Koy Hary, executive director of the Cultural Village, yesterday told Khmer Times that the company has been losing revenue since 2019 after a decrease in South Korean tourists in the Kingdom. He said that at that time, the Cambodian Cultural Village could receive up to 1,500 tourists per day, of which only about 10 percent were Cambodians.

“Our target guests are foreigners who pay $15 per ticket, while national guests pay $5. But during COVID-19 and the suspension of flights, the village received only around 60 national visitors and around 200 tourists per day despite tickets being half price,” he said.

The village was established in 2003 and covers an area of 210,000 square meters along National Road 6 in Siem Reap. It features ancient houses, iconic buildings of Khmer history, statues of former Khmer kings, famous artists, poets, as well as performances of ancient art for visitors.

On the morning of October 16, the organizer of Formula One (F1) race announced the cancellation of the 2020 race in Hanoi, due to the impact of the Covid-19 epidemic in the world.

F1 Hanoi was originally scheduled to take place in April this year, but the Covid-19 pandemic caused the organizers to postpone it in March and then stop.

The total number of F1 races canceled in the 2020 race is 13, including: Australia, China, the Netherlands, Monaco, Azerbaijan, Canada, France, Singapore, Japan, the US, Mexico, Brazil and Vietnam. The total number of races held this season is 17 stages, of which most of the races have taken place in the form of no audience.

Cambodia has attracted 1.22 million foreign visitors during the first eight months of 2020, down 72 percent from 4.36 million over the same period last year, said the latest report released by the Ministry of Tourism on Wednesday.

China, Thailand and Vietnam were the largest sources of foreign travelers to Cambodia during the January-August period this year, the report said.

It added that some 292,303 Chinese, 182,501 Thais and 180,095 Vietnamese came to the kingdom during the first eight months of this year, down 83 percent, 22 percent and 68 percent, respectively compared to the same period last year.

In August, Cambodia received only 23,028 foreign visitors, a 95.5-percent decline from 519,502 over the same month last year, the report said.

The remarkable drop was due to the COVID-19 pandemic and entry restrictions imposed for all foreign travelers since March.

Tourism Minister Thong Khon projected that the Southeast Asian country could lose approximately $3 billion in tourism revenue this year due to the slump in international tourist arrivals.

Tourism is one of the four pillars supporting Cambodia’s economy, and the country attracted 6.6 million international visitors in 2019, earning a total revenue of $4.9 billion.