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Thai Turmoil Costing Cambodia Millions

Thailand’s political crisis is costing Cambodia’s tourism sector $1 million a day in lost revenue, tourism officials say, while worries are growing about security for an upcoming Asean conference and the resolution of a monthslong border standoff.

Anti-government demonstrators have closed Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport in their efforts to oust the prime minister. In Cambodia, 10 flights per day have been canceled between three airlines, and tourism officials say they are missing 2,000 tourists per day as a result.

Ho Vandy, president of the Cambodian Tourism Association, estimated that the average tourist will spend $500 on a four-day trip in Cambodia, amounting to a loss to Cambodia of around $1 million per day.

“The cancellation of international flights affects hotels, restaurants and the work of tour guides, guest houses, taxi drivers, tuk-tuks,” said Bath Sambo, president of the Cambodian Tourism and Service Worker Federation. “We are very concerned about this.”

Officials also said Friday the instability could mean a cancellation of the Dec. 14 Asean meeting, which is to be held chaired by Thailand and held in Chiang Mai.

“In my opinion, the delay of the Asean summit is necessary because of the complicated situation in Thailand, where no one is responsible for the anarchy,” Foreign Minister Hor Namhong said.

The “complicated situation” in Thailand will also adversely affect talks next month, where a joint border committee was expected to discuss demining and demarcation, Hor Namhong said.