Foreigners who have been living in Cambodia for two years or more can explore Angkor Wat and Koh Ker temples for free for a year as of September 1, Angkor Enterprise said on Thursday.
The move aims to promote domestic tourism and encourage expats living in Cambodia to visit Siem Reap, Angkor Enterprise said in the announcement.
Angkor Enterprise is a public administration under the Ministry of Tourism in charge of managing and collecting revenue from the sale of Angkor Archaeological Park tickets.
The announcement says, “Foreigners staying and working [in Cambodia], including diplomats, officers, investors, officials working in international organizations, can apply for free admission to visit Angkor resort and Koh Ker Temple.”
The application form to visit the revered temples can be accessed online from September 9. Alternatively, eligible expats can apply directly to Angkor Enterprise with a copy of their passport and residence permit proving they have lived in Cambodia for at least two years. Applicants must also provide a 4x6-size photo taken within the last six months.
President of Cambodian Association of Travel Agent (CATA), Chhay Sivlin, said that it is an opportunity for foreigners to participate in various activities, especially to help businesses in Siem Reap as the flow of tourists visiting Angkor remains limited.
“We want to have more tourists to help businesses get started quickly. For a while now, there have been a lot of promotions on accommodation services and other tourism products,” Sivlin said.
She added that businesses are gradually reopening, albeit not to post-covid times. However, she believes business will return to pre-pandemic levels and this mechanism is a tool to help Siem Reap prepare for the recovery of tourism by attracting domestic tourists.
On August 4, Minister of Tourism, Thong Khon, spoke at the launch of the Siem Reap Tourism Development Master Plan (2022-2023) initiative to boost domestic tourism. Waiving the entrance fee at Angkor for foreigners who have lived and worked in Cambodia for two years or more formed part of the plan.