Rising Flight Prices Impact Tourism Rebound

Rapidly rising flight prices are hampering the recovery of Cambodia’s tourism sector, industry experts claim
An airplane descent into Phnom Penh International Airport, September 6, 2022. Kiripost/Siv Channa
An airplane descent into Phnom Penh International Airport, September 6, 2022. Kiripost/Siv Channa

The rising price of air tickets are impacting Cambodia’s tourism rebound, which was hit hard by Covid-19, businesses said on Tuesday.

Chhay Sivlin, President of Cambodia Association of Travel Agents ( CATA), said that tourism recovery is being heavily affected by the recent increase in airfares, another blow in the wake of the pandemic which impacted tourism globally.

“People want to travel because they want to go on a trip. When the ticket price is too high, they are also reluctant to go on their trip, so they are going to reduce the days, reduce the standards and also delay the trip,” Sivlin told Kiripost.

She said the reduction in tourists affects Cambodia’s national economy of Cambodia as tourism was expected to increase when the country fully opened while other countries still had restrictions in place.

However, for the tourism sector to recover, there needs to be more flight options and cheaper prices to drive tourism in the country. If transportation costs are too high, people will start to reduce their travel, she added.

“The rising price of airfares is not positive for travelers,” Sivling said.

Lim Sivchoeu, a tourism agent, said that due to the Covid pandemic, people were unable to travel. However, as the Covid situation eased, people were expected to begin traveling again amid increasing demand. Then the cost of flight tickets rose.

“People couldn’t travel because of the Covid pandemic. When Covid lessened, there was more demand for traveling that made flight tickets increase,” Sivchoeu told Kiripost.

“Prior to Covid, many people enjoyed traveling in Southeast Asia, and the number of travel agencies has increased significantly. Meanwhile, the challenge is that the price is competitive and currently, post-covid, most travel agencies are closed and not yet open. The remaining few travel agencies are fully open, and they can raise the price of flight tickets,” Sivchoeu said.

She added that many airlines have closed and went bankrupt due to the pandemic. Now a few airlines have opened and are booking flights, which has increased the price.