PHNOM PENH, Aug. 19 (FN) — The Cambodian government will soon allow foreigners to stay for up to three years on a single visa, in a bid to encourage more foreigners to visit the Kingdom, the Khmer Times reported on Friday, Tourism Minister Thong Khon said.
The three-year multiple-entry visa application will be available from September 1 to foreigners from all countries, he 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.
"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," Thong Khon was quoted as saying by the newspaper.
Cambodia hopes to welcome at least 7.5 million foreign tourists by 2020, according to a newly announced goal. Of the targeted number, two million are Chinese.
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 7 million tourists) come true after the private sector and government work together," he 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. Businesspeople can currently renew their visa for a month, three months, six months or up to a year.