The Cambodian government will soon allow foreigners to stay for up to three years on a single visa in a bid to meet a goal of 7 million overseas travellers annually by 2020.
Tourism Minister Thong Khon said the three-year multiple-entry visa — a new government strategy to encourage foreigners to come to the country — will allow foreigners to stay in the country for up to three years, the Khmer Times reported on Friday.
The multiple-entry visa application will be available from Sept 1 to foreigners from all countries, Khon said, with different prices according to the length of stay although pricing details of the new visas were unavailable.
The new entry visa will allow tourists and businesspeople to enter and exit Cambodia many times during the visa’s validity period, Khon said.
“They can apply for a visa in Cambodia and can travel in and out many times according to the visa they apply for. Tourists and investors can apply for a two-year stay or three-year stay with multiple entries.”
Cambodia hopes to welcome at least 7.5 million foreign tourists by 2020, according to a newly announced goal. Of the targeted number, 2 million are Chinese and 300,000 Japanese, according to Cambodia Tourism Marketing Strategy 2016-2020.
Ho Vandy, secretary-general of Cambodia’s National Tourism Alliance, said the move to extend visas was part of a strategy to develop the country’s tourism sector.
“It is a strategy to make the target [of seven million tourists] come true after the private sector and government work together,” Vandy said.
It would really help to encourage both tourists and investors, and foreigners who provide training and work in social development to come to Cambodia, Vandy said.
For Cambodia’s tourism visa, people from Asean countries are currently granted a stay of 14 days to a month and tourists from other regions — the European Union and the United States for example — are allowed a month. Business people can currently renew their visa for a month, three months, six months or up to a year.