Minister of Tourism Thong Khon yesterday urged the tourism industry to source locally for its inputs, claiming Cambodia loses out on 25 to 35 percent of potential revenue to imports.
“We import a lot of food and beverages such as fruit, wines, vegetables and meat to support our tourists, mostly imported from Thailand and Vietnam,” he said. “That causes us to lose a lot of money each year,” he said.
Speaking on the sidelines of a conference on the strategic plan to develop the tourism industry over the next ten years, he said to stop the loss, there ought to be a conscious attempt to turn to domestic production particularly for agricultural goods.
He added that Cambodia was not alone in suffering this kind of loss, adding it was felt by most developing countries.
Cambodia’s Tourism Ministry aims to attract 7 million visitors to the Kingdom by 2020, expecting revenue from the sector to reach a high of US$5 billion, said Thong Khon. The ministry targets 2.8 million visitors this year, expecting revenues to total $1.91 billion in the sector.
Cambodian Association of Travel Agents President Ang Kim Eang yesterday welcomed attempts to strengthen the industry, saying it will attract more international tourists to the Kingdom.
“The strategy has a lot of potential – I really do support it,” he said.