Cambodia may lose about 3 billion United States dollars in tourism revenue in 2020 as foreign tourists to the kingdom dropped sharply due to the impact of the COVID-19, Tourism Minister Thong Khon told Xinhua on Saturday.
Tourism is one of the four sectors supporting Cambodia’s economy as the Southeast Asian country attracted 6.6 million international tourists last year, earning a total revenue of 4.9 billion United States dollars.
But due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the kingdom received only 1.16 million foreign visitors during the first four months of this year, down 52 percent over the same period last year, Khon said.
“For 2020, due to the COVID-19 crisis, the number of foreign tourists (to Cambodia) can drop by 70 percent and domestic tourists may fall by 50 percent, with the estimated loss of about 3 billion United States dollars in revenue,” he said.
According to the minister, to date, some 2,956 tourism-related establishments such as hotels, guesthouses, restaurants, massage parlors, karaoke clubs, nightclubs and tour and travel companies had been either suspended or closed, directly affecting 45,405 workers.
At an event of tourism safety measures during the COVID-19 pandemic which was held in Phnom Penh on Friday, a series of tourism safety measures for hotels and guesthouses, restaurants, tourist transportation companies, tourism resorts and tourism community were launched.
Under the measures, tourism-related businesses are advised to screen customers’ body temperatures, to prepare alcohol or antibacterial gel for handwashing, to spray alcohol on the soles of customers’ shoes, and to keep a distance from each other of at least 1.5 meters.
The measures also encouraged both tourism service providers and guests to wear face masks and costumers to use E-payment services for their transactions.
Cambodia has reported a total of 125 confirmed COVID-19 cases to date, mostly imported, and no death has been recorded, the Ministry of Health said.
Currently, only two out of all the patients in the country remain hospitalized.