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Industry applauds tourism campaign

TOURISM industry leaders have applauded the launch of the "Cambodia: World of   Wonder" advertising campaign to promote the country.

"This is a good time for the sector. With the formation of the new government, and the new slogan, we believe the world will get the message about all that Cambodia has to offer," said Luu Meng, president of the Cambodian Hotel Association.

While tourism has grown by more than 11 percent in the first quarter of 2008 over the same period last year, the country has lacked a branding strategy.

The government and industry hope the new slogan, which includes a six-month advertising program on CNN, will sell the country along the lines of the "Malaysia: Truly Asia" and "Amazing Thailand" campaigns.

Tourism remains a top priority in a national strategy to bolster economic growth, said So Mara, secretary of state for the Ministry of Tourism.

"We're targeting people from all walks of life by promoting safety, political and economic stability, and international-standard services," So Mara said.

Prime Minister Hun Sen emphasised the link between tourism and development in a letter commemorating the 29th World Tourism Day on Saturday. "I hope this special occasion will encourage the involvement of tourism to support and contribute to environmental protection, poverty reduction and social and economical development," Hun Sen wrote.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY GEORGE MCLEOD

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