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Industry fair to raise hospitality standards

120816_09

Diners at Café Metro in Phnom Penh. Photograph: Nina Loacker/Phnom Penh Post

Phnom Penh will host Cambodia’s second international hotel, restaurant and catering industry show at the Diamond Island Convention and Exhibition Center on October 10 to 12, with the support of the government.

Andrew Siow, director of AMB Exhibition SDN Bhd and organiser of the exhibition, said there were several significant objectives of the event, but bringing people from overseas to Cambodia was a big one – it would mean they needed a place to stay and food to eat. Restaurants and hotels needed to compete with one another to woo these potential customers, he said.

“This competition will improve the quality of restaurants and hotels,” Siow said, adding that businesspeople would have a chance to find better supplies as a result of the fair.

Many businesspeople would meet and try to seek the best suppliers, he said.

This international event, according to Siow, will encourage chefs to improve the standard of their kitchens as well, while restaurant and hotel staffs will be motivated to provide better services and innovative ideas.

“Although the Ministry of Health has worked hard to decrease unsecured food, food hygiene is still not good. This exhibition will improve food safety and local supply chain,” said Van Porleng, president of Cambodia Restaurant Association. “Thus, this event is intended to lift Cambodia’s hospitality and tourism sectors to international standards.”

The Ministry of Education, in co-operation with the Ministry of Tourism, which along with the Ministry of Commerce is hosting the fair, plans to create two schools for the hospitality industry: the Royal Academy of Culinary Art and the National Tourism School.

They would teach students how to provide good hospitality, food hygiene and other skills related to the art of food handling, Van said. “It takes time to do it.”

The first exhibition was in 2010, and about 9,000 people attended. This year, 12,000 people are expected to attend, Siow said.

The exhibition is not open to the public, according to Siow, as it is difficult to manage lots of people, and the event is geared for businesspeople meeting with one another.

To contact the reporter on this story: Meas Chansatya at newsroom@phnompenhpost.com

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