Phnom Penh, February 15, 2020 –Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) H.E. Zurab Pololikashvili has sent a letter of appreciation to Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia, for authorising the docking of Westerdam Cruise Ship at Sihanoukville Autonomous Port.
“I would like to express my most heartfelt appreciation and that of UNWTO as a whole to the Royal Government of Cambodia for its remarkable humanitarian response to the plight of MS Westerdam cruise ship which it welcomed with open arms and allowed to dock in Sihanoukville despite the coronavirus scare,” the UNWTO secretary-general wrote in his letter dated Feb. 14.
As we are aware, he continued, the coronavirus outbreak is currently a source of concern to the international community and efforts to contain its spread and to produce a cure are being spearheaded by the World Health Organisation. The Government of China is equally taking vigorous measures along the same lines and is collaborating closely with WHO and other relevant stakeholders to prevent a world pandemic.
UNWTO is also monitoring the evolution of the coronavirus through its regular meetings with WHO and we are happy to learn that the rate at which the virus is infecting people has slackened, he added.
“We are very proud of Cambodia’s demonstration of such highly acclaimed international solidarity which will hopefully encourage other nations to emulate and to offer the much needed support where and when required,” underlined H.E. Zurab Pololikashvili.
“I reiterate UNWTO’s great appreciation for Cambodia’s bravery and warm expression of brotherly love against the odds to those 2,000 passengers marooned on the seas,” he concluded.
Having declined by ports in many countries, Westerdam cruise ship carrying more than 2,200 multinational passengers and crewmembers finally docked at Sihanoukville Autonomous Port on Feb. 13.
All passengers and crewmembers were provided medical check-up and none is COVID-19 positive, and were given warm hospitality by Samdech Techo Prime Minister himself, senior Cambodian officials, ambassadors, and beyond.
Cambodian authorities are committed to ensure proper facilitation for their transit to their respective flights home safely and soundly.