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The Phnom Penh Post reports on the ongoing controversy over tourist boats. Renting a boat along the riverside for a sunset cruise is one of my favorite ways to end the day. But if critics are right, the price is about to go up. The newly formed Association of Phnom Penh Water Tourist Transport argues they’ll bring order to bookings, which I admit can be pretty haphazard and frustrating at times. Critics say it’s a cartel that will lead to higher fares.
Both could be proved right, and we’d end up with a central booking monopoly. Orderly, but more expensive. What’s needed is antitrust or competition law, to ban such price fixing. But even in countries with such laws, enforcement is far from perfect. There’s been some foreign technical assistance to draft such a law, but to my knowledge, it’s still a long way away.