Cambodian officials are exploring a new initiative for Thai border residents to boost tourism. Hor Sarun, Cambodia’s tourism minister, said Thai tourists visiting Angkor Wat will boost the country’s tourism. Near Siem Reap are the Angkor Wat temple and Angkor Archaeological Park, which has Khmer ruins. The increase in visitors is 560% more than the first half of 2022, but it’s only 22.5% of pre-epidemic passengers. Seven Thai provinces border Cambodia: Trat, Chanthaburi, Sa Kaeo, Buriram, Surin, Sisaket, and Ubon Ratchatani. Koh Kong, Pursat, Battambang, Pailin, Banteay Meanchey, Oddar Meanchey, and Preah Vihear border Thailand. Many Thais wish to visit the temple but lack passports. Thai people with a legal address in one of seven adjacent provinces need a border permit, not a passport, to enter Siem Reap.

Over 740,000 tourists visited Cambodia between January and July, according to the Ministry of Tourism. Southeast Asia reopens and seeks tourists. The new approach was discussed Monday. Surin says Thais from Sa Kaeo or Surin can reach Siem Reap via Banteay Meanchey or Oddar Meanchey.

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