The crisis of Coronavirus COVID-19 has one good side for tourists who are still coming to visit the fabled Angkor Wat temples in Cambodia. They will be able to visit during two days the temple complex for the price of a one-day ticket.
Visitors to Cambodia’s world-renowned temples are being offered special deals amid dwindling tourist numbers caused by the global spread of the Covid-19 (coronavirus) outbreak. To boost dipping tourist numbers prompted by the virus outbreak, Cambodia is offering travellers extra days to explore the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Angkor Wat complex and surrounding temples for the same price.
Although at least two cases of the Wuhan coronavirus has been confirmed in Cambodia, the country has tracked far less cases than other parts of Asia, such as China, South Korea and Japan.
A one-day ticket to the Angkor Archaeological Park in Cambodia’s Siem Reap province, priced at US$37, will be valid for a two-day visit now till June 25, according to a statement from Angkor Enterprise, which manages ticketing at the park. The three-day passes, which cost US$62, will now be valid for five days in the park, while seven-day passes costing US$72, will be good for a 10-day visit.
The four-month park pass incentive was intended to facilitate tourism, a key sector in the small South-East Asian nation, and “ensure the attractiveness” of the temple complex amid the Covid-19 public health crisis, Angkor Enterprise said in the statement earlier this week.
Park ticket sales dropped to about 222,000 tickets in January, down nearly 18% compared to the same month last year, according to Angkor Enterprise figures.
Visitors to the park from China, where Covid-19 was first detected in late December and the majority of infections and deaths have been reported, comprised nearly 40% of the 2.2 million total visitors in 2019.
In January, Chinese visitor numbers were down 35% from the same month last year, to about 71,000 people. As of Wednesday, the park has sold just about 108,000 tickets this month. During the first two months of this year, foreign arrivals in Cambodia dropped already by 15% but the drop in arrivals in Siem Reap was close to 40%.
Last year, Cambodia’s tourism grew 6.6% to reach a new record of 6.6 million foreign tourists, while generating an income of $5 billion. However, according to the Ministry of Tourism, the COVID-19 crisis is likely to reduce that figure this year by about 10%.