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More Khmer New Year revellers than before pandemic, says Cambodia tourism ministry

THE PHNOM PENH POST/ANN – Over 860,000 people visited various tourist attractions across the Kingdom on the first day of the April 14-16 Khmer New Year holiday, according to Ministry of Tourism figures.

The ministry said that of the 862,897 New Year revellers, 8,243 were foreign visitors residing in the country.

Kampong Chhnang province received the most visitors at 160,740, followed by Battambang at 107,254, Siem Reap at 107,014, Pursat at 83,896, Kampong Cham at 57,430, Prey Veng at 56,002, Kampong Speu at 49,288, the capital at 38,972, and Banteay Meanchey at 37,316.

The ministry noted that a large number of people travelled on the first day of the Khmer New Year holiday – higher than before the Covid-19 pandemic in 2019 when 816,469 revellers were recorded on the first day of the traditional New Year, an increase of 5.68 per cent.

The surge comes as the government permits nationwide celebrations of the New Year after a two-year Covid-19 hiatus and as provinces with tourism potentials organise Songkran and other entertaining events to attract revellers.

Officials have yet to provide figures for tourists at the four provinces that have been declared mask-optional by a recent government circular – Preah Vihear, Stung Treng, Ratanakkiri and Mondulkiri.

While the mask requirement has been lifted in the four provinces, recreation venues and tourist attractions are subject to hygienic rules.

The government has recently lifted the mask requirements for residents in four provinces – Preah Vihear, Stung Treng, Ratanakkiri and Mondulkiri.

However, each recreation venue is subject to hygiene rules and standard operating procedures laid out by relevant authorities to prevent coronavirus transmission.

Revellers attending the Khmer New Year. PHOTO: ANN