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Tourist operators are lobbying the Apsara Authority, which oversees the management of the Angkor Archaeological Park about making changes to the multi-day pass. A single-day pass costs USD20 while the USD40 pass allows for unlimited entry into the park over a period of three consecutive days; tourists argue that tourists usually suffer from temple fatigue by the second day and miss a last day of touring the temples. By making the multiday pass more flexible, tour operators argue, temple visitorship would rise and tourists can be convinced to stay longer. The argument makes sense from an economic point of view, but what would the effect 0f longer tourist stays and increased temple visitorships do to the already-strained environment?

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photo credit: dav.pal

Tourism operators take on Apsara
Phnom Penh Post, 19 February 2009

Frustrated guesthouse owners, who say a nonconsecutive, multiday temple pass will boost the length of tourist bookings, are planning to petition Apsara. They point out that their complaint isn’t about the price of tickets, just the rigidity of the three-day consecutive package.

One guesthouse owner told the Post: “To be honest, the ticket price is now very good value for money. I don’t know how these prices have been in place, but I’ve been here since 1996 and the cost of the tickets was the same back then.”

The business owners also want to lobby members of Cambodia’s travel industry, the Tourism Working Group, who met with Minister of Tourism Thong Khon last Thursday to look at dropping travellers’ charges in a bid to stimulate the flagging tourism sector.

Ho Vandy, co-chair of the Tourism Working Group and head of the Steering Committee of the Cambodia Association of Travel Agents, last Thursday told the Post it was time for the government to act to halt the tourism downturn.

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