via Spot.ph, 20 January 2019: Newly-declared heritage sites in the Philippines worth a visit.
Pindangan Ruins. Source: Christa I. De La Cruz, Spot.ph 20190120
Heritage sites will always deserve to be on everyone’s bucket list. It’s even better when they’re declared cultural treasures by international agencies or local groups, because the recognition not only helps highlight these places’ significance in our culture and history, but also helps in the preservation and protection of these awe-inspiring structures and natural wonders.
If you’ve already seen your fair share of local heritage sites, here’s a new list of recently declared National Cultural Treasures and Important Cultural Properties by the National Museum of the Philippines. Whether you’re visiting up north, traveling to Visayas and Mindanao, or even just looking for a fun weekend date, these places are worth a stop.
via Phnom Penh Post, 02 Jan 2019 and other sources: The latest tourist figures to the Angkor Archaeological Park for 2018. The 2.6 million figure counts ticket sales for international tourists, and may not necessarily reflect true visitor numbers since Cambodians enjoy access for free.
The Angkor Archaeological Park welcomed nearly 2.6 million international visitors last year, generating more than $100 million in revenue, a statement from the state-run Angkor Enterprise released on Tuesday said.
The park saw a 5.45 per cent rise in visitors to 2.59 million from last year, while revenue from ticket sales jumped eight per cent, generating $116.64 million.
However, revenue declined 1.59 per cent to around $12.11 million in December even though the number of visitors to the Kingdom’s iconic tourist site increased 0.16 per cent to 267,647.
Angkor Archaeological Park continues to generate the bulk of tourism revenue for the country from its ticket sales, despite a hike in admission fee last year, as foreigners marvel at the iconic temple.
Local authorities managing the temple complex forecast the figures could touch $117 million by year end, with about 2.6 million foreigners visiting the Angkor Wat, located in Siem Reap.
The temple complex remains the top tourist dollar earner compared to two other famous world heritage sites – Preah Vihear Temple located in Preah Vihear province and the Sambor Prei Kuk Archaeological Site in Kampong Thom province.
“There was a seven per cent growth in tourist arrivals this year and visitors from 193 countries visited the temple and 43 per cent of the total tourists are from China.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.