CAMBODIA’S Angkor Wat – one of Asia’s most iconic UNESCO World Heritage sites – is enforcing new entry tariffs for the first time in 25 years.
Angkor Enterprise, the government body that manages the entrance to the temple complex, raised the fee of a one-day ticket by 85 percent, from $US20 to $US37. A three-day pass will cost US$62 while a weekly one will set visitors back US$72.
The organization also announced that US$2 from each ticket will be channelled towards the Kantha Bopha Children Hospitals Foundation.
Long Kosal, deputy director of the Apsara Authority, in charge of temples conservation, said, “The measure is a well-thought plan where the tourists and the partners involved have been consulted.”
Meanwhile, Chhay Sivlin, president of Cambodia Association of Travel Agents, told Voa Cambodia that the drastic increase is still acceptable compared to neighboring nations.
“Their infrastructure and safety [for tourists] is better. But we hope that after the government increases the price, they will have some budget to build infrastructure for the tourism industry about the same as in other countries,” she said.
However, Thourn Sinan, president of the Cambodia Tourism Federation, said that a better approach would have been to break the park into smaller areas so that visitors have a choice of which ones to visit and pay for.
The report added the income from the tickets is expected to reach US$100 million with the new price structure.
Last year, 2.2 million people of the five million tourists traveling to Cambodia visited the Angkor temple grounds, making up ticket sales worth more than $US62.5 million.
Temple authorities also released a statement last year reminding visitors to be dressed decently when visiting the sacred grounds.
Apsara Authority explained that clothes considered to be revealing would be “too short so they reveal buttocks, or [tourists] not wearing bras, or T-shirts that show the back and upper body”.
Tourists are required to wear pants or skirts below the knees and tops that cover their shoulders. Those who don’t adhere by these guidelines will be asked to change their clothes before being permitted entry into the temple grounds.
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