Stepping stone: Sandbox schemes a prelude to opening up Kingdom

The government has embarked on a “roadmap” towards restoring and promoting tourism in Cambodia during and after the Covid-19 crisis.

Minister of Economy and Finance Aun Pornmoniroth said yesterday that the special sandbox scheme to allow quarantine-free visits to Sihanoukville, Koh Rong and Dara Sakor from November 30 was only a first step in the overall strategy to gradually reopen the country to international visitors.

He said the sandbox scheme will be closely monitored and evaluated and, if successful, will lead to the opening up of the whole country for quarantine-free visits.

Pornmoniroth said that looking at the overall tourism market after the outbreak of Covid-19, the international and regional international tourism movement has changed with emphasis now on high consideration for safety, confidence in destination selection and use of technology and innovation in tourism, both in demand and supply.

He said that in this context, the strategic plan on the opening of vaccinated tourism and policy measures to promote the internal tourism movement from 2021-2023 is based on the principle of maintaining a balance between socio-economic activities and ensure safety and public health for citizens and tourists.

Pornmoniroth noted that after Sihanoukville, Koh Rong and Dara Sakor, the sandbox scheme will be extended to Siem Reap province in January, also as part of the overall strategy.

He also requested to the Ministry of Tourism and the private sector to continue their efforts to attract target tourists from safe and low-risk international market sources, as well as to diversify tourism products and services in line with the new context of the needs and supply of international and domestic tourism markets.