Home Business Opening the Cambodian border: opportunities for the tourism sector

Opening the Cambodian border: opportunities for the tourism sector


The opening of the border with Cambodia is the impetus for its tourism industry, which makes an important contribution to the economy, beyond the textile and garment sector.

The tourism industry will be more important after the country lost its EU status “Everything But Arms” (EBA) – EBA status previously allowed Cambodia to gain duty-free access to EU markets.

Cambodia is now fully open to foreign travelers, although there are still quarantine requirements for travelers who are not fully vaccinated.

The country is one of the ASEAN countries that have opened their borders to international travelers. Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam and Indonesia have eased border restrictions to varying degrees. For example, Vietnam and Malaysia have allowed the entry of foreign travelers regardless of their vaccination status, whereas Indonesia and Singapore primarily allow only fully vaccinated travelers; unvaccinated travelers can enter if they have medical reasons and they have to go through quarantine.

The weakening of borders will be a boost for Cambodia’s tourism sector, which plays a vital role in the country’s economic growth, contributing about 12 percent of GDP annually.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of international travelers has shrunk by 80 percent from 6.6 million visitors to 1.3 million in 2020.

Fully vaccinated travelers are not required to take a COVID-19 test before departure, and will only need to show proof of vaccination (WHO-recognized vaccine regiment).

However, unvaccinated travelers must pass a PCR test for COVID-19 at least 72 hours before arriving in Cambodia. Upon arrival they must undergo a seven day quarantine at a state hotel. The traveler will take another test for COVID-19 on the first day before entering quarantine before making the final test on the seventh day.

If an unvaccinated traveler has not pre-booked a hotel, he must demonstrate the availability of at least $ 2,000 in cash (per traveler).

Foreign travelers will need health insurance covering COVID-19 treatment for at least $ 50,000. Insurance should cover a range of treatments, such as quarantine if a positive result is found, and hospitalization.

Cambodia has renewed its arrival visa, which costs $ 35 with a maximum stay of 30 days. Some nationalities will need to agree in advance and apply online.

Cambodia has adopted several strategies to revive its tourism industry. The government has issued about 10 incentive packages to support the country’s two main industries: i) textile, footwear and garment manufacturing and ii) tourism.

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This article was first published ASEAN Briefing which is produced Dezan Shira & Associates. The firm helps foreign investors across Asia from offices around the worldincluding in Art China, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Singapore, Indiaand Russia. Readers can write [email protected]

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