CAMBODIA will have direct flights to all ASEAN member states this year in order to promote stronger growth of the tourism sector in the Kingdom, according to the Ministry of Tourism.
Minister of Tourism Thong Khon said Cambodia will become fully connected to the ASEAN region through direct flights to every country, with only Brunei and Indonesia remaining to be connected.
“This year, I hope to complete our direct flight connection with ASEAN because only a few countries, such as Brunei and Indonesia [were missing]. And they are already prepared. We set our strategy, and for ASEAN that is about connection,” he said.
“Tourism could not be developed if there are not enough connections of all means of transportation,” he added.
Ang Kim Eang, president of the Cambodia Association of Travel Agents, said the target will definitely help to increase Cambodia’s tourism growth. “If Cambodia can achieve it, it is a big step for tourism development,” he said.
Thoun Synan, president of the Asia-Pacific Travel Agent Association, also emphasised the significance of the connection, especially given that Indonesia has a large population and their people like to travel. But he said because of the lack of direct flights between Indonesia and Cambodia, only small numbers of Indonesian tourists have been visiting the Kingdom.
“I really applaud the ministry for this [target]. If there are direct flights and low-cost flights, [Indonesians] will visit us often,” he said.
Thong Khon told the Post previously that Cambodia, Indonesia and Brunei already signed the direct flight agreements. However, they have not been implemented yet.
The number of tourists from ASEAN countries to Cambodia rose 37.5 per cent year-on-year in 2012 to 1.5 million, compared to 1.1 million a year earlier, representing 42.2 per cent of the total tourist arrivals, according to the data from the Ministry of Tourism.