Reopening of the Cambodian border: Opportunities for the tourism sector

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The reopening of Cambodia’s border is a boost for its tourism industry, which is a major contributor to the economy, behind the textile and apparel manufacturing sector.

The tourism industry will take on greater importance after the country lost its ‘Everything But Arms’ (EBA) status from the EU; an EBA status had previously allowed Cambodia to enjoy duty-free access to EU markets.

Cambodia is now fully open to foreign travellers, although there are still quarantine requirements for travelers who are not fully vaccinated.

The country is among a large number of ASEAN countries that have opened their borders to international travellers. Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam and Indonesia have eased border restrictions to varying degrees. For example, Vietnam and Malaysia have allowed entry to foreign travelers regardless of vaccination status, while Indonesia and Singapore primarily only allow fully vaccinated travelers; unvaccinated travelers may enter if they have a medical reason and will need to self-quarantine.

The easing of the border will be a boost for Cambodia’s tourism sector, which plays a vital role in the country’s economic growth, contributing around 12 percent of annual GDP.

With the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of international travelers decreased by 80%, from 6.6 million visitors to 1.3 million in 2020.

Fully vaccinated travelers are not required to take a COVID-19 test prior to departure and will only need to show their proof of vaccination (a WHO recognized vaccine regiment).

However, unvaccinated travelers must take a PCR test for COVID-19 at least 72 hours before arriving in Cambodia. Upon arrival, they must spend seven days in quarantine at a government hotel. The traveler will take another COVID-19 test on the first day before entering quarantine, before taking a final test on day seven.

If the unvaccinated traveler has not previously booked a hotel, they must prove they have at least US$2,000 in cash (per traveler).

Foreign travelers will need medical insurance that covers COVID-19 treatment for a minimum of US$50,000. Insurance must cover a variety of treatments, such as quarantine if found positive and hospitalization.

Cambodia has reopened its visa-on-arrival service, which costs $35 for a maximum stay of 30 days. Some nationalities will need to make arrangements in advance and apply online.

Cambodia has adopted multiple strategies to revive its tourism industry. The government issued some 10 rounds of stimulus packages to support the country’s two main industries: i) textiles, footwear and apparel, and ii) tourism.

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This article was first published by ASEAN REPORT which is produced by Dezan Shira and associates. The firm assists foreign investors throughout Asia from its offices. worldwideeven in in Porcelain, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Singapore, IndiaY Russia. Readers can write to [email protected]

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