With Phnom Penh on track to become the most vaccinated city in Southeast Asia, moves are afoot within Cambodia’s tourism industry to work towards a possible reopening of borders for fully vaccinated international travelers by November this year.
The Cambodian tourism ministry recently announced that fully vaccinated international tourists with proof of their inoculation could be allowed into Cambodia as soon as November 2021. To make travel more convenient, Cambodia is also considering lessening or the full removal of the 14-day quarantine policy for fully vaccinated tourists, barring certification showing a negative COVID test 72-hours before travel and another negative COVID test upon arrival at Phnom Penh International Airport.
Cambodia is currently the second most vaccinated country in Southeast Asia after Singapore: the Kingdom has already inoculated over 60% of its 16.5 million people, while over 95% of its residents in the capital Phnom Penh (2.1 million) are already fully vaccinated. The country anticipates it will reach herd immunity with 75 percent of its population double vaccinated by the end of September this year. The Cambodian government has also recently started vaccinating children over the age of 12 starting in August.
In April 2020, Cambodia closed its borders to tourists in a bid to control the spread of COVID-19. Last year, the country recorded zero deaths and less than 400 cases, mostly imported and caught at the border. However, in February this year coronavirus started spreading countrywide, triggering a strict two-month nationwide lockdown. Cambodia emerged from lockdown in June and efforts have been underway since to vaccinate the population through the country’s mass inoculation efforts.
Newly Opened Hyatt Regency Welcomes Travelers
Hyatt Regency Phnom Penh officially opened in January 2021, marking the first Hyatt hotel in the Cambodian capital. Located in the heart of Phnom Penh’s cultural and business district of Doun Penh, the 247-room property is a 30-minute drive from the airport and within walking distance to the Royal Palace, National Museum and the riverside.
Designed by Singapore-based SCDA Architects, the hotel’s centerpiece is a beautifully restored French heritage villa, known as the Colonial House, which serves as the entrance and lobby. Meanwhile, the interiors of the hotel reflect Cambodia’s unique history, seamlessly blending Khmer architectural accents, French colonial influences, and specially-commissioned artworks by contemporary Cambodian artist, FONKi.
“We’ve been very fortunate in Cambodia to have access to vaccines and I’m pleased to report that 99 percent of our hotel staff are already double vaccinated,” said Herman Kemp, general manager of Hyatt Regency Phnom Penh.
“That together with our stringent hygiene measures, makes me confident that we will be prepared for international visitors once travel resumes.”
Kemp added that Cambodia’s successful reopening will be dependent on a fast inoculation rollout and consumer confidence. “If Cambodia continues on the current vaccination trajectory, we will most likely become the first country in Southeast Asia to open to tourists,” he said. “When that happens, I’m looking forward to welcoming international guests to our beautiful property and showing them all that this amazing city has to offer.”
The hotel offers five dining venues including The Attic, an old world speakeasy-style bar that sits tucked away in the eaves of the Colonial House, a stunning indoor/outdoor open-plan dining concept called FiveFive Rooftop Restaurant & Bar, where diners can enjoy Instagram-worthy views of the city skyline alongside sustainable seafood and lively DJ performances, an early 20th century metro-themed bar, Metropole Underground, as well as an all-day dining restaurant, Market Café Restaurant & Lounge, serving breakfast and high tea.
Facilities at Hyatt Regency Phnom Penh include a lush outdoor infinity pool, a 24-hour fitness centre, 1,400 square meters of meeting and event space, including the Regency Ballroom. The hotel also has a world-class spa, Jivapita Spa, offering a range of bespoke body and facial treatments. Guests staying on the hotel’s Club floors have access to the Regency Club Lounge, which includes daily breakfast, evening canapés and drinks, as well as a private terrace.