From Wednesday 1 February, admission prices to Cambodia’s Angkor Wat will almost double in price.
Millions of visitors are expected to be impacted as the sprawling complex is the top attraction in the country. Almost half of all visitors to Cambodia make their way here to explore the temples built between 900 and 1200 AD by the ancient ‘god-kings’ of the Khmer Empire. Each entry fee covers all 72 of the temples found on site.
A one-day pass has almost doubled from US $20 to $37, the three-day ticket goes up from $40 to $62 while a seven-day pass is now $72, formerly $60. The decision to increase the ticket prices was introduced by the government and was met with complaints by tour companies, who claimed the change was too drastic and might deter potential visitors. However, Carrol Sahaidak-Beaver of the Cambodia Tourism Federation defended the decision to the Phnom Penh Post. “The prices have been unchanged for 25 years and were overdue for an increase. We are not anticipating any negative impact on tourism numbers. The new price is competitive to what is offered by our neighbours and internationally.”
The Angkor Wat price increase is the first for the Unesco Heritage Site in 25 years. It was announced last August and $2 from every entrance ticket sold will go to the Kantha Bopha Children Hospitals Foundation, which offers free medical treatment to children in five hospitals around Cambodia. The price change to the famous temples follow smaller price increases to other tourist hotspots in January, like Phnom Penh’s Royal Palace and the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum.
Cambodia’s Ministry of Tourism released its annual report last week, which revealed that international tourist numbers passed the five million mark in 2016. Despite this, revenue from tourism had dropped from the 2015 figures, a problem the government hopes to tackle by eliminating non-licensed tourist businesses by 2018.
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