Skift Travel News Blog

Short stories and posts about the daily news happenings around the travel industry.

Ideas

Trip.com Group to Power Digital Journey of Cambodia’s New Airport

1 year ago

Online travel company Trip.com Group has joined hands with flag carrier Cambodia Angkor Air to position the new Angkor International Airport as a smart airport in the region.

As part of the agreement, Trip.com Group will contribute to enhancing the digital services of the new airport scheduled to commence operations in October 2023.

The partnership also serves to position Cambodia’s competitiveness as a global destination as it aims to strengthen collaboration in various tourism sectors. This would extend to marketing campaigns, hotel development, travel visa services, and tourism talent training programs in both countries.

Angkor Wat, Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia
Angkor Wat, Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia. The temple remains the face of tourism for Cambodia.

Expressing the significance of the new Angkor International Airport in Cambodia’s global tourism strategy, Tekreth Samrach, chairman of Cambodia Angkor Air, said the collaboration with Trip.com Group to enhance services and construct a smart airport presents an opportunity for global tourism revival.

Cambodia is estimated to have lost $3 billion of tourism revenue to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Cambodia’s New Airport Worth $880 Million

China’s Yunnan Investment Group, parent company of Siem Reap-Angkor International Airport has invested in the new airport project valued at $880 million.

A steering committee for the construction of Siem Reap Angkor International Airport led by Samrach had announced in March that the airport would be ready in time for its October launch.

Once ready, the airport that would be able to handle long-haul aircraft with the capacity to receive about seven million passengers per year initially, 10 million by 2030, and 20 million by 2050.

China is a significant source of inbound tourism for Cambodia, with Chinese tourists accounting for approximately 36 percent of the 6.6 million foreign tourists arriving in the country in 2019.

Cambodia launched the “China Ready” strategy in 2023 to attract more Chinese tourists.

As of mid-May 2023, Ctrip, a Trip.com Group sub-brand, had reported that the number of users from the Chinese mainland searching for Cambodian tourism products had increased by more than 233 percent compared with the same period last year.

In 2022, Cambodia welcomed 2.28 million foreign tourists, according to the ministry of tourism.

Airlines

AirAsia to Now Launch a Low-Cost Carrier in Cambodia

2 years ago

AirAsia Aviation Group on Friday announced a joint venture with Cambodia-based Sivilai Asia to launch a new low-cost carrier — AirAsia Cambodia.

The airline, in which AirAsia will be the majority partner, expects to commence operations in late 2023.

Cambodia is the fifth Southeast Asian destination that AirAsia will be foraying into after Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines.

Speaking to the media, Tony Fernandes, CEO of Capital A, AirAsia’s parent company, said all of the group’s future airlines would be based in the region as this is an area they know best and have a strong brand presence.

In 2020, the aviation group shut down operations of AirAsia Japan and last month the company announced that it has sold off its remaining 16.67 percent stake in AirAsia India to Tatas-owned Air India.

AirAsia plans to touch pre-Covid levels by the second quarter of 2023 and in true Tony Fernandes style the Capital A CEO said he’s confident AirAsia Cambodia would be profitable “from the get go.”

“Cambodia is a market that is familiar to us and where we have deep infrastructure in place,” Fernandes said.

AirAsia Aviation Group is the largest foreign airline and the second largest airline group overall operating into Cambodia in terms of capacity, according to group CEO Bo Lingam.

Pre-pandemic, AirAsia operated 90 weekly flights from Malaysia and Thailand to Cambodia and is currently flying about 49 weekly flights.

“The value of AirAsia’s network is an insurmountable asset; it will be another flag of extensive connectivity in Cambodia and into the region, namely China, India and North Asia,” Fernandes said.

Currently, there are no direct flights between India and Cambodia.

Reacting to earlier reports of a proposed merger of AirAsia and AirAsia X, Fernandes had clarified on Monday that the group proposed to form a separate aviation group comprising all its airlines.

Ground Transport

Southeast Asian Destinations Steer Tourists Towards Road Trip Holidays

2 years ago

In a bid to encourage tourists to explore the region by road, the 10 member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have come up with a driving tourism manual.

The guidebook contains information on driving in Thailand, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, and Vietnam and also includes a list of suggested tour routes.

Available for free download, the guidebook is an initiative under the ASEAN Tourism Strategic Plan 2016-2025, with Thailand’s Department of Tourism as its main coordinator.

The ASEAN Tourism Strategic Plan 2016-2025, sought to implement the agreement on the recognition of domestic driving licenses issued by ASEAN members states to promote drive/overland tourism across the region.

The information in the manual has been collated to help make the self-drive journey a seamless one among destinations in the region, based on connectivity, openness and mutual sharing of tourism experiences.

Designed to help driving tourists create their own itineraries, the guidebook contains information to help tourists traveling to Southeast Asia by land, including visa and entry requirements, vehicle permits, cross-border procedures, required documents, speed limits as well as emergency contact numbers.

A map also indicates the countries that drive on the left side of the road and those that drive on the right side.

To encourage tourists to explore lesser-known destinations, the guidebook also recommends self-drive routes for each country covering major highlights and second-tier destinations, and cross-border routes combining different countries.

The self-drive tourism manual is meant for travellers coming from within Southeast Asia as well as for international tourists coming from other continents, Yuthasak Supasorn, the governor of Tourism Authority of Thailand said in a press statement on Monday.

“International travelers could, for example, combine a visit to Thailand with visits to Laos, Myanmar, Cambodia, or Malaysia to be enjoyed at their own pace, along their own routes while exploring the many diverse cultures, attractions, and landscapes of this fascinating region,” Supasorn said.