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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - UAE, Cambodia look to lift tourism

UAE, Cambodia look to lift tourism

Cambodia's tourism ministry and United Arab Emirates officials have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to strengthen tourism to the Kingdom, officials said during a press conference at Phnom Penh’s international airport.

Tourism Minister Thong Khon said the MoU would provide more opportunities for both countries to work together on improving tourism between Cambodia and the Middle East.

“The MoU is the gateway for both governments and the private sector to officially work together on the tourism sector,” Khon said.

“We’re focusing on advertising to attract investors from Dubai, and tourists and international tourists from across Arabia to Cambodia,” he added.

Thong Khon, who signed the MoU with his counterpart, Khalid Ahmed bin Sulayem, director-general of the Dubai Department of Tourism & Commerce Marketing of the United Arab Emirates, said the MoU would focus on issues in the field of tourism management, such as training, human resources and having direct flights between the countries in the future.

Thong Khon said Dubai was strongly developed in both tourism and trade, and about 25 million international tourists visited the city last year.

Each day, the city counts 500 flights arriving from around the world.

Ten flights a day come from Thailand alone.

Khon urged the private sectors to arrange specific tour packages, worship areas in the hotels, and to serve halal food for guests from the Middle-East in the future.  

“Arabia is an emerging and good market for Cambodia,” he said. “Tourists from the region have been limited because of a lack of promotions and direct flights.”

According to statistics compiled by the Ministry of Tourism, in the seven months  until August of this year, the number of tourists from the Middle East to Cambodia rose by 23 per cent, from 5,163 in 2011 to 6,391.

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

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