Cambodia launches online system for tourism licences

April 22, 2015 9:36 am 

PHNOM PENH, April 21 — Cambodia's Ministry of Tourism has launched a new online system to register tourism-related businesses and tour guides who need a licence, in order to ease the licence inspection process and boost government revenues, local media reported Tuesday.

Neb Samouth, director-general of the Ministry of Tourism, said the online system is part of governmental reforms to simplify the licence-registration process, which has to be done every year, according to the Phnom Penh Post report. "The goal is to reduce the unnecessary barriers for the private sector as part of government reforms,"the newspaper quoted Samouth as saying.

The new system, which will replace the traditional registration process by 2016, will help the government increase tax collection as each business will now be issued an ID and Quick Response Code, making tracking the companies easier.

"For the private sector, the system will save their time. For the public sector, the system will create a database for us by creating ID and QR Code for each business and tour guide and therefore we could better manage the inspection of unlicensed businesses and tour guides,"Samouth said.

He added with the new system, the government plans to get close to 30 percent of unlicensed businesses to register by 2016.

In the traditional system, businesses would have to submit a list of documents at the ministry's provincial tourism departments, after which, the documents would be sent to the ministry in Phnom Penh and sent back with approved licence, a long and cumbersome process.

Now businesses and tour guides can visit www. cambodiatourismindustry.org and www.touristguide.com to send in their online applications. Licences will be issued three days after submission and the system will notify businesses a month before their licence is up for yearly renewal, the newspaper reported.

Ang Kim Eang, president of the Cambodian Association of Travel Agents, said he welcomed the online system and that it would help reduce the amount of time needed to register for a license.

"The online system is more flexible and it saves us time and money. For people in the provinces, it will be so much easier for them," the Phnom Penh Post quoted him as saying.

Last year, Cambodia received a total of 4.5 million tourists, generating around USD 3 billion in revenue and creating more than 620,000 jobs. As of 2014, the kingdom had close to 940 hotels, 1,571 guest houses, 1,399 restaurants, 864 tour operators, 335 tourism resorts and more than 5,000 tour guides, according to the newspaper. (PNA/Xinhua)

JBP/SSC

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