via Asean Post, 29 November 2018: Walking through Angkor today, I did notice more than a few tourists being guided by apps rather than books or human guides.
Source: ASEAN Post, 20181129
Developed by local company Angkor Audio, the device enables foreign tourists the luxury of wandering the ancient site at their own leisure without being harried and rushed along by local guides. This has raised concerns among tour guides about their livelihood.
The devices may be rented by tourists or travel agents for US$2.99 for the first month of use. There are 30,000 sets of these devices currently undergoing tests. Ironically, Angkor Audio also rents out group tour systems, a portable broadcast system that lets tour guides communicate with their guests over wireless headsets. Like the group tour systems, the Angkor App is an extension of its conference equipment rental business.
Angkor Audio operation manager, Ny Nou Ros said the app actually complements the industry. Tourist groups and some individuals prefer human tour guides, while “a few thousand more” prefer to be on their own. “We are offering them an option,” he said.
Electronic audio guides are not new to the tourism industry or even Cambodia. They existed for many years without affecting local tour guides as most of them are employed by travel agencies for group tours, Ros said.
Source: Cambodia’s tour guides face tech disruption | The ASEAN Post
via Myanmar Times, 26 November 2018: The Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance recognizes the Pindaya Buddhist Caves complex for its efforts in making it a smoke-free site.
The Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance has honoured Pindaya Caves in Shan State with an award for promoting a healthy environment and preserving the uniqueness of its culture by being a smoke-free heritage site.
The Southeast Asian anti-tobacco advocacy group gave the award to Pindaya Caves at the 6th Regional Meeting of Smoke-Free Cities in the Asia-Pacific Region and the Summit of Smoke-Free Leaders in Hoi An, Vietnam, last week.
Source: Shan caves awarded as smoke-free heritage site | The Myanmar Times
via The Star, 22 November 2018:
Source: The Star, 22 November 2018
The little known Mansuli Valley, one of the oldest valleys in Borneo, may soon be on the map of Indiana Jones wannabes.
It is likely to beckon visitors who are keen on archaeotourism or interested in archaeology and historical sites.
Located about 30km from Sabah’s Lahad Datu district, there is evidence that the area was inhabited about 235,000 years ago.
Source: Sabah’s Mansuli Valley has archaeotourism potential – Nation | The Star Online
via Phnom Penh Post, 19 November 2018:
Source: Phnom Penh Post 20181119
Minister of Culture and Fine Arts Phoeurng Sackona has been awarded a 2018 Paestum Archaeology Award at the 21st edition of the Mediterranean Exchange of Archaeological Tourism held at the ancient city of Paestum, Italy.
The award goes to those who contribute, through their commitment and intercultural dialogue, to the valorisation of cultural heritage and the promotion of archaeological tourism.
Source: Culture Minister receives archaeology award, National, Phnom Penh Post
via Travel Wire News, 09 October 2018: Malaysia is looking to work with the Aga Khan Trust to create a tourism plan for the archaeological sites in Kedah, which include the Bujang Valley, Sungai Batu and Guah Kepar sites.
Putrajaya is planning to sign an agreement with the Aga Khan Trust for Culture, through Think City Sdn Bhd, to develop Kedah Tua as an archaeotourism site, said Tourism, Culture and Arts Deputy Minister Muhammad Bakhtiar Wan Chik.
He said Kedah Tua is a network of old civilisation linking Lembah Bujang to Sungai Batu to Sik in Kedah and Guar Kepah in Seberang Perai here that can be promoted as one large site.
“We plan to sign a memorandum of understanding with Aga Khan Trust to develop the Kedah Tua project,” he told reporters after the opening of a National Archaeological Seminar here.
Source: Putrajaya mulls partnership with Aga Khan Trust to develop Kedah Tua for tourism | World News | Travel Wire News
via Khmer Times, 1 October 2018:
The government earned $85.57 million in revenue from the sale of tickets at Angkor Wat for this year’s first nine months, a hike of nearly 13 percent compared to last year, according to the figures from Angkor Enterprise.
From January to September, more than 1.9 million visitors visited the Angkor archeological park, an increase of about 8.5 percent compared to the same period last year, the figures released yesterday said.
However, in September alone, there were about 156,865 visitors or an increase of 8.3 percent compared to the same period last year.
Source: The government earns $85.57 million from Angkor Wat ticket sales – Khmer Times
via SEA GLobe, 19 Sep 2018: SEA Globe reports some perspectives from Cambodians about the Angkor Wat replica in China that was previously reported – I called it a ‘Disneyland’ in the previous post.
A Chinese replica of Angkor Wat, built for the annual China-Asean exposition, has attracted the ire of many Cambodians who feel it offends their heritage
Source: Chinese theme park risks offending Cambodians with Angkor Wat replica
via Paris Match, 16 Sep 2018: An article in French about how tourism is stressing out the Angkor Archaeological Park.
Overtourism at Angkor. Source: Paris Match, 16 Sep 2018
C’est le plus vaste site archéologique au monde et l’un des plus visités. Mais 5 millions de touristes par an, dont un afflux brutal de visiteurs chinois depuis 10 ans, l’ont transformé en un parc d’attraction effrayant. Au point de menacer l’existence même de ce joyau.
Source: Cambodge : Stop ou… Angkor !
via Cambodia News English.com, 13 September 2018: Angkor What? A new tourist attraction in Nanning City in Guangxi, China, contains replicas of the famous architecture of Angkor. The news article below doesn’t make it clear, but is seems that this is part of an ASEAN theme park featuring replicas of other famous locations in Southeast Asia. I wonder what the reactions from Cambodia are. For context, a group in India had announced in 2015 that they were going to build a Hindu temple in Bihar in the style of Angkor Wat (see also here). This idea was not well-received in Cambodia (see also here, here, here, here and here).
Replica Angkor Wat in Nanning City, Guanxi, China. Source: Cambodia News English, 13 Sept 2018
Nanning, in Guangxi Province,China now has a new attraction; an Angkor Wat complex. Visitors can’t tell whether they are in Cambodia or Nanning.
In Nanning City, Guangxi, a paradise is known as the Cambodian and Chinese cottage version of the “Angkor Wat” complex. The imitation is fascinating, and the tourists are said to be unclear in Cambodia or Nanning.
Source: Angkor What? Faux Temple Complex Opens in China
via Xinhua News, 01 September 2018: Latest figures from Angkor Enterprise (the state authority behind the ticketing at Angkor) reports an 8.5% rise in tourists this year compared to last year.
Photo by Colin Remas Brown
Revenue from ticket sales to foreigners visiting Cambodia’s famed Angkor Archaeological Park reached 78.7 million U.S. dollars in the first eight months of 2018, up 13.8 percent over the same period of last year, said a press release on Saturday.
The park welcomed 1.74 million international tourists during the January-August period this year, up 8.5 percent over the same period of last year, said the release from the state-run Angkor Enterprise, which is in charge of ticket sales at the park.
Source: Cambodia’s famed Angkor earns nearly 79 mln USD in 8 months – Xinhua | English.news.cn