Report Reveals COVID-19’s Deep Impact on Cambodian Tourism Economy

First the industry was devastated by the collapse of international visitors. Then the virus began its rapid spread.

Nearly half of tourism-related businesses in Cambodia have been forced to close their doors due to the compounding impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new survey report published by the Asia Foundation last week.

Based on surveys conducted with around 1,000 tourism-related small and medium enterprises in various parts of the country in April 2021, the report found that 47 percent of tourism-related enterprises had ceased their operations since the beginning of the pandemic. Just 22 percent of businesses said that their operations were unchanged from before the arrival of COVID-19.

The businesses included both officially registered business – such as hotels, restaurants, travel agents, and karaoke bars – and the host of informal enterprises clustered around Cambodia’s tourism economy, which include street vendors and tuk-tuk drivers.

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