Tour operators say order is hurting their businesses
The Phnom Penh Municipality has ordered that all tourist boats cease docking on the riverfront between Daun Penh district’s Phsar Kandal and Phsar Chas markets, District Deputy Governor Sok Penhvuth said yesterday.
“City Hall doesn’t allow them to park there because it affects public order,” Mr Penhvuth said, adding that tourist boat operations along the river make too big a mess.
“It’s very bad looking. It also causes the river bank to collapse,” he said.
Mr Penhvuth said tourist boats are still allowed to dock north of the Council for the Development of Cambodia office and south of the NagaWorld casino.
Hun Chanleak, a boat owner who transports tourists along the Tonle Sap and the Mekong River, said the new order is hurting business.
“Right now we are having a difficult time doing business,” she said, adding that tourists have difficulty finding the boats at the locations where they are currently allowed to dock.
“If City Hall wants to reduce poverty, it should make a parking place for the tourist boats,” she said.
Ly Puthy, president of the Phnom Penh Water Transport Association, said the new order is “dangerous” because tourist-boat operators who still dock where they aren’t supposed to tend to act carelessly with their passengers.
“They quickly drop off the tourists and leave from the riverfront because they are scared of the authorities,” he said. “It is a danger to tourists. If they get into an accident, who will respond to this case?”
Phnom Penh Municipal Deputy Governor Pa Socheatvong declined to comment on the ban.