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ANGKOR HERITAGE TOURISM AND THE ISSUES OF SUSTAINABILY

ANGKOR HERITAGE TOURISM AND THE ISSUES OF SUSTAINABILY

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Published by: marlonbiu on Apr 15, 2011
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12/19/2012

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Besides the economic impact, tourism also has other impacts on Cambodian society, as

Cambodia, long isolated from the outside world, comes to grips with other cultures. So-called

“modernization” which generally refers to “Westernization” is blooming among the younger

generation in the country especially those areas encountering tourists from the West. The

demonstration effect of tourism on local culture (such as in relation to dress and romantic

encounters) is one of its cultural and social impacts.

Tourism has adversely impacted Cambodian society through the spread of HIV/AIDS.

Cambodia experienced a rapid growth of the epidemic from the 1990s with the arrivals of United

Nations forces and international tourists. In addition, most of the sex tourists come to visit

Cambodia through Thailand.

The former Minister of Women's Affairs, Mu Sochua, said the country is on the child sex

tourism map. The former Minister of Tourism Veng Sereyvuth also admitted that the country has

a problem with sex tourism, which carries an enormous cost by deterring "normal" tourists from

visiting. He said “I'm outraged at this stuff and also at the internet that gives out information

specifically about child sex… My proposal is that the authorities must take appropriate measures

in all these places. They must be punished for their crimes and the punishment must be severe to

send a proper signal to these people that they will pay the price if they do it"25
.

To counter the negative impacts deriving from tourism, the Cambodian Ministry of

Tourism has established a Committee for the Safety of the Child in Tourism. This committee

operates on two levels, the national level and the municipal and provincial level. In order to curb

child sex tourism, the Cambodian government wants to increase public awareness through

education and other administrative programs. In addition, cooperation with NGOs is also

emphasized. However, constraints still exist in the implementation process particularly the

25

Phnom Penh Post, January 17-30, 2003

133

corruption issue which is rampant in Cambodia. Some government officials, especially the

police, cooperate with the human traffickers.26

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