The Ministry of Tourism said on Thursday that they will not fine any tour guides in the country whose license has expired as part of Covid-19 recovery plan, Visit Cambodia 2023.
Top Sopheak, Secretary of State at the Ministry of Tourism, said that since the spread of Covid, the country has seen a decline of international tourists and very few using the services of tour guides, which has forced them to leave work as tour guides.
“Since there was a widespread problem of Covid-19 in the past, our guides were forced to leave tourist destinations because there were so few visitors from overseas who used guide services,” Sopheak told Kiripost.
“The Ministry of Tourism does not penalize as it is the stage for tourism's recovery from the Covid-19 crisis in 2022.”
However, he added that the policy will only be in place until December 31, 2022 and guides will have to renew their license for 2023 or they will be fined.
Sopheak added that Cambodia will host the SEA Games and ASEAN Para Games in 2023, so there will be many events that will benefit the tourism sector.
Sa Sam, a guide in Siem Reap, welcomed the granting of the preferential period waiver of penalty for tour guide service business. He added that exemption also helps people's livelihood to some extent.
Sam also noted that he had seen a significant increase of tourists since the government opened and the covid-19 pandemic has been contained.
“The royal government opening and Covid-19 have improved, the tourism sector is booming and the number of tourists coming to Cambodia is growing, but not as large as before the covid-19 pandemic,” Sam told Kiripost.