Temple fees may rise
Posted Date:Tuesday, 17-Jul-2012
SIEM REAP, 17 July 2012: Apsara National Authority will increase entrance fees at Angkor Wat once a feasibility study has been concluded by tourism experts.
Apsara has the exclusive rights to all temple complexes in Siem Reap, but very little is divulged on how much of the fees charged filter through to the local economy.
Apsara general director, Bun Narith, said experts were determining if it was feasible to increase entrance fees at Cambodia’s UNESCO World Heritage site.
“They are looking at ways to increase ticket sales before providing recommendations to the government, which approves fee increases.”
Mr Narith added: “The plan is not to directly increase the general entrance fee of US$20 for a one-day pass, but use the fee structure to steer tourists towards lesser-visited temples in the park to ease congestion and wear and tear at Angkor Wat.”
Cambodia Association of Travel Agents president, Ang Kim Eang, said the study was a welcome move as it would look at the largest tourist attraction and the price charged for entrance, which was much lower than fees charged in other heritage sites around the world.
However, he cited that a higher entrance fee was not necessary at this time.
“We welcome the study, but it should not be used to add a burden on tourists.”
The entrance fees to Angkor Wat start at US$20 for international visitors for a one-day pass, US$40 for a three-day visit and US$60 for the entire week.
More than 2 million foreign and domestic tourists visit the site in Siem Reap annually.
In 2011, the temples attracted 1.6 million foreign visitors, an increase of 23%. They had to pay a minimum of US$20 to tour the complex providing a rough estimate of the gate value for the company that handles the business.
The Angkor archeological park is the Cambodia’s largest cultural tourism destination located 315 km from the capital Phnom Penh.