Cambodians complain about foreign tour guides

A group of Cambodian tour guides has complained to the country’s Ministry of Tourism about the rising number of unlicensed guides operating at Angkor Wat.

The Phnom Penh Post reports that the Angkor Tour Guide Association, which represents more than 1,000 guides at the UNESCO-listed temple complex, has urged action to be taken against Russian, Chinese and Vietnamese tour guides who are operating illegally.

Tourists at Angkor Wat
Tourists at Angkor Wat

Cambodian law requires all foreign package tour operators to use Cambodian guides trained by the Ministry of Tourism.

“These guides… do not have licences,” Khiev Thy, president of Angkor Tour Guide Association was quoted saying. “[They] do not clearly understand Cambodian history and it affects Cambodian guides’ incomes heavily.”

It is estimated that at least 100 Cambodian tour guides have seen their livelihoods affected by the illegal operators.

The Phnom Penh Post also reported Ngov Seng Kak, director of the Siem Reap tourism department, as saying that the government is looking into the issue.

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