Tourism takes a hit at Preah Vihear

Bad news on the Thai-Cambodia border means even worse news for the people living there – until the conflict in June, many made a living out of the tourism industry as Preah Vihear was the major local sight. As tensions remain high and the standoff remains unresolved, many locals on the Thai side of the border have been forced to move away from Preah Vihear in order to make a living.

Temple of tourist doom
AFP, via Canberra Times, 20 October 2008

A tourism official in Thailand’s north-eastern Si Sa Ket province, Sriphuwong Chantachompoo, said that until the military face-off at the border the number of tourists visiting Preah Vihear from Thailand had been increasing.

Figures from the Thai national park where tourists cross over to Preah Vihear show that 142,679 tourists visited the park in 2006-07, compared with 125,353 a year earlier.

From October 1 last year until the temple entrance closed, it had received 111,728 tourists and none since.

Mr Sriphuwong said the whole province saw only about 80 tourists a month now, who came to visit the area’s other temples and waterfalls.


Related Books:
Preah Vihear (River Books Guides)
The Preah Vihear case and the Sino-Indian boundary question

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Author: Noel Tan

Dr Noel Hidalgo Tan is the Senior Specialist in Archaeology at SEAMEO-SPAFA, the Southeast Asian Regional Centre for Archaelogy and Fine Arts.

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