Mystery Company Inked Deal for Angkor Slippers

A private company has already re­ceived a contract to produce and sell protective slippers for tourists visiting the Angkor Archaeological Park, but the Apsara Authority official in charge of the project said Sun­day he doesn’t know the details of the deal. Tep Henn, Apsara Authority’s deputy director general in charge of tourism, said last week that the slip­per project was proposed in order to limit the damage caused by hordes of tourists treading on the ancient temples. “The contract was signed al­ready a long time ago, and the Ap­sara Authority signed the contract,” Tep Henn said by telephone Sunday. “Now we ask the company to give the plan to us…because we need to check whether the slippers are up to quality,” he added. Contact information for the company, CCK Corp, could not be found Sunday. Tep Henn said he couldn’t re­mem­ber when the contract was signed or how long it is to last. He also said he did not know whether the slippers would be required for all visitors or only for foreign tourists. “It is difficult because it is [an issue] related to Khmers and foreigners,” he said. Tep Henn said last week that he did not know how much the slippers might cost or when the slipper pro­gram might be implemented. On Sunday, he said that he was not sure whether the slippers would be required for the whole park or only certain temples. “It is difficult and complicated, it is related with many departments like the department of resorts and archaeology,” he said. Neang Mao La’Or, director of the Authority’s resorts and archaeology department, declined to comment Sunday, referring all questions to her superiors. Bun Narith, director general of the Apsara Au­thority, could not be reached for com­ment Sunday. The Apsara Authority recently came under fire from the Ministry of Tourism and tourism industry officials for a proposed $3 fee in­crease on tickets to Angkor. The increase—reportedly necessary to cover the costs of a “free” tourist guidebook—had been sche­duled to go into effect June 1 but was postponed indefinitely due to unexplained “technical difficulties.”

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