Longer stays a solution for Siem Reap’s weakening arrivals

Tonle Sap Lake

Tourism and hospitality leaders have joined forces to launch a campaign to encourage visitors to extend their stay in Cambodia’s Siem Reap, as visitorship weakens for the town that serves as the gateway to Angkor Wat.

A recent report by Angkor Enterprise revealed visitors to the ancient religious site slumped by 15 per cent in 2019 to 2.2 million.

The latest available figures from the Ministry of Tourism show a 13.1 per cent decline in arrivals at Siem Reap International Airport during the first 11 months of 2019. This comes amid a steady decline in longhaul visitors.

The four-week #staylongersiemreap video campaign is currently underway, with two videos scheduled for release every week on social media to showcase the bounty of attractions the province is home to. These cover dining, drinking, Tonle Sap exploration, Bakong Temple cycling, arts, relaxation, nightlife and performance, and shopping.

Adam Rodwell, project manager and owner of The Little Red Fox Espresso, said: “The ultimate goal is to promote Siem Reap as a destination that has much more to offer beyond the majestic Angkor temples. (It) can offer traditional and authentic Cambodian experiences alongside more modern and contemporary choices; essentially something for everyone.”

Other businesses involved are Jaya House Hotels, Treeline Urban Resort, Wild Frontiers Travel, George’s Rhumerie, Phare Cambodian Circus and Mulberry Boutique Hotel.

Christian de Boer, managing director of Jaya House Hotels, said the current average length of stay at the property is three nights.

“Upon departure, almost all guests state they would have loved to stay longer and discover more,” he shared.

It is hoped the short videos, produced by Rafael Winer of FILM+STILLS, will showcase Siem Reap’s diverse offerings and encourage people to explore more of the area’s vast offerings.

Craig Dodge, director of sales and marketing at Phare, the Cambodian Circus, said: “It’s essential to build more awareness of the awesome experiences on offer beyond Angkor Wat.”

It is also hoped the campaign will build momentum as other tourism businesses jump on-board and add content under the hashtag #staylongersiemreap.

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