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Northeast new focus for tourism

The Ministry of Tourism will shift its focus to ecotourism development in the Kingdom’s northeast after efforts to promote travel to Cambodia’s coastline proved successful.

Whereas Tourism Minister Thong Kong had once asked officials to focus on industry improvement in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Sihanoukville, the ministry will now put an increasing amount of resources into ecotourism in Kratie, Stung Trung, Ratanakkiri and Mondulkiri provinces.

“In the coming months, we will hold a big seminar in the northeastern area of the country to focus on the ecotourism. We will strengthen those provinces because in the past we strengthened the coastal area,” he said yesterday.

The seminar will be held in October, he said.

The potential for Cambodia’s second-biggest industry by revenues in the northeast was big, Thong Kong said.

Dolphin watching, natural beauty and ethnic diversity in the region were some of the highlights of the region, he said.

International-tourist visits to the northeastern provinces increased by 17.2 per cent to 18,288 tourists compared to the same period last year, according to three-month statistics from the Ministry of Tourism.

Thong Khon also urged private sector forces to help in the development of human resource in the tourism field.

Nget Pitou, director of Ratanakiri’s Tourism Department, said hightened attention on the region could be successful because the provinces offered several untapped tourism resources.

“I see a lots of potential eco-sites in the northeastern provinces,” he said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rann Reuy at reuy.rann@phnompenhpost.com

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