Tourism officials predict that most if not all of Cambodia’s 17,000 hotel rooms and 3,000 guest house rooms are booked this weekend for the Khmer New Year.
Tourism Ministry Secretary of State Thong Khon said that a 25 percent increase in foreign tourist arrivals has also been accompanied by a 20 percent increase this year in Cambodians traveling inside the country for recreation.
“I am sure that domestic travelers have caused all the hotels to be booked,” he said. “People have money, and there are good road links to resorts that are fully secure,” he added.
In the first three months of 2006, 460,000 tourists arrived in Cambodia, up 25 percent from last year, Thong Khon said.
Ho Vandy, president of the Cambodian Association of Travel Agents, said that Sihanoukville municipality and Siem Reap, Ratanakkiri and Mondolkiri provinces are flooded for the Khmer New Year.
“For the three days of the New Year, most of the hotel rooms are full,” he said.
“CATA has strongly encouraged people to travel to domestic resorts,” he added.
CATA also requested provincial authorities to put more tourism police on alert during the holiday, Ho Vandy said.
A manager at Sihanoukville’s Golden Sand Hotel said all 112 rooms at the hotel are booked from April 13 to April 16.
“I think domestic travelers may find it hard to get a room anywhere,” the manager said, speaking on condition of anonymity.