It was a promise made last August by Cambodia Minister of Tourism, Thong Khon. The Minister wanted to let some foreign visitors to Cambodia to apply for multi-entry business and tourist visas lasting as long as three years.At a tourism conference, the Minister qualified the move as an effort to “promote tourism growth”.
“The government has approved the new policy for multi-entry visas, which international tourists and investors can apply for at the airport for one, two or three years, and we will start to implement this on September 1,” Khon said during that conference.
However, the date to implement the three-year visa had been hastily announced. Surprisingly, the fact to offer such a multiple-entry long-term visa needed also the approval of authorities in countries where citizens come from. So far, only China PRC, Japan and South Korea agreed with Cambodia on the option for their citizens to apply for a three-year visa.
The latest to move into the new regulation is Japan with Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen announcing the measure during the 5th year anniversary of Minibea, a Japanese motor assembly plant at Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone. Local newspapers reported that Hun Sen took the decision to grant three-year multiple-entry visas to Japan due to rising investment from Japan in Cambodia – and the launch of direct flights between Tokyo and Phnom Penh – the long-term visa for Japanese businessmen and tourists would add to the convenience.
“A few days ago we decided to offer a three-year visa to China and Korea. Now, we have agreed to offer the same three-year visa so that Japanese investors get a visa stamp only once. They can use it for a three-year period to come in and out of Cambodia. With the recently launched direct flight, this brings more convenience,” said Mr. Hun Sen.
In September, All Nippon Airways started direct flights from Tokyo’s Narita Airport to Phnom Penh International Airport. The airway operates one daily flight between both capitals
“I am confident that the direct daily flights between Phnom Penh and Tokyo will bring our bilateral relations to an entirely new level. There will be a lot more people travelling between our two countries, regardless of the purpose of their visits,” commented Japanese Ambassador Yuji Kunamaru.
The Ministry of Tourism now hopes that more countries-especially from Europe- would soon benefit of similar measures.