In percentage terms, the small Cambodian kingdom is just as financially dependent on international tourism as Thailand. During the pandemic, both countries saw a dramatic drop in sales, with Cambodia losing over $ 3 billion last year.

But Phnom Penh authorities are now considering a cautious reopening of international tourism in the final quarter of 2021. Chhay Sivlin, Cambodian Travel Agencies Association president said the recent Thai removals in the much heralded sandboxes were warnings for his country. He thought the concept was too complicated.
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The main goal of the Cambodian initiative is to open the 12th century archaeological site of Angkor Wat to fully vaccinated foreigners from October 2021. You would stay and relax in the neighboring town of Siem Reap, which, like Pattaya, is currently a ghost town, town of the collapse of international tourism.

On the surface, the plan looks more like the Phuket Sandbox Initiative, but there are important differences. While international arrivals in Phuket must be de-registered in advance from Thai embassies abroad and are subject to insurance and immigration fees, Cambodia would simply allow groups of foreigners to land and show their passports and vaccination certificates to immigration authorities. It is important to reduce the red tape at the international checkpoints.

The Cambodian Ministry of Tourism announced that no final decisions have been made, but the most important thing is to simplify the entry procedures as much as possible. Thourn Sinan, chairman of the Cambodian section of the Pacific Area Travel Association, pointed out that Thailand had kept changing the sandbox model and that some of the Phuket details had not been agreed upon just days before the official start.

Other ideas currently being discussed in Phnom Penh include the abolition of the $ 30 arrival fee traditionally applied to all visitors by land and air, the elimination of insurance fees and deposits currently held by the Participants are required to provide evening entertainment in the form of cultural shows and avoid wearing tracing wristbands.

Cambodia has made more progress than its larger neighbor on the path to herd immunity. 2.3 million Cambodians have already received both doses of the vaccine, with 10 million aiming to get at least one dose by fall. Prime Minister Hun Sen has said that tourists will feel more secure knowing the high vaccination rates in his country.
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However, according to international travel agents, there are some doubts about Cambodia’s reopening plans. Cambodia is even more dependent on China than Thailand for its international market and the Beijing authorities have made it clear that there will be no charter flights this calendar year, â ???? said Robert Markus of the South East Asia Travel Group. Other concerns include the lack of information on how to serve alcohol, whether health testing will be mandatory while on vacation, and whether independent travelers and tour groups can benefit from the pilot.