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Man about town: 6 December 2013

Man about town: 6 December 2013

LET THERE BE LIGHT
Panasonic this week donated 1,500 solar lanterns to Unesco to be handed to the Apsara National Authority for distribution to the poorest villages in the Angkor park. In a press release Unesco said, “It is opportune to have this donation during the 20th anniversary of the International Coordinating Committee for Angkor (ICC-Angkor).”

Anne Lemaistre, head of office and Unesco representative in Phnom Penh said, “The solar lantern donation to the Unesco office reflects the continued strategic partnership between Unesco and Panasonic, specifically in the utilisation of technology for societal contribution. Through collaboration and innovation, we can work together towards environmental and cultural preservation.”

Michiko Ogawa, group manager, CSR Corporate Citizenship Group, Panasonic Corporation said, “Availability of light and electricity affects quality of life. Without light, children aren’t able to study effectively at night and access to urgent medical treatment in rural areas with poor electrical infrastructure is limited as well as difficult.

“People can potentially get trapped in a cycle of poverty as they are unable to cope with such societal problems. The Solar Lantern is one way Panasonic aims to lend support to those in the base of pyramid areas through innovative technology.”

PROTEST DEMONSTRATION WARNINGS
Siem Reap hoteliers traditional occupancy dip in the immediate days leading up to Christmas won’t be helped by international travel cautions regarding the proposed CNRP protest demonstration to be held in town next Tuesday. For example, Fodors advised, “There is going to be a political protest rally in Siem Reap on Dec 10. Might be a good day to head out to temples instead of shopping or visiting the museum in Siem Reap proper. Other spots for a day trip away from town might be Tonle Sap, Banteay Srei, Koh Ker, Phnom Kulen.”

TOURISM SCHOOL’S NEW AMPHITHEATRE
A leading hotel trend in 2014 could be a surge in the conventions or meeting market, the MICE (Meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions) segment. Three to four years ago the only real conference centre in town was at Sokha, but several major hotels have installed infrastructure to cater to this market.

Now the Paul Dubrule Hospitality and Tourism School, founded by Paul Dubrule, the co-founder of the Accor group represented in town by Sofitel, is also entering the fray.

In its most recent newsletter, the school announced that construction of an amphitheatre that can accommodate up to 400 people began in September and is scheduled for completion in August 2014. According to the newsletter, “The main purposes of this venue is to hold lectures, conferences and other events that will directly contribute towards the development of our educational strategy and therefore to the progress of the hospitality and tourism industry in the Kingdom of Cambodia.”

The newsletter adds, “The construction crew has been working relentlessly braving the late monsoon and the building foundations are already in place.”

SHORTS
Social Worthiness: The NGO Journeys Within Our Community, which has offshoots such as Journeys Within Boutique Hotel and Journeys Within Tour Company is seeking a fundraising and communications manager. In a nutshell, the job is all about ensuring that the organisation’s “$200,000 annual fundraising goal is achieved.”

More Chinese tourists: Siem Reap province and China's eastern Jiangxi province signed a five-year memorandum of understanding on Saturday November 30, with Siem Reap governor Khim Bun Song and Jiangxi province vice governor Xie Ru agreeing to cooperate in a number of sectors including tourism, agriculture, trade and investment. The strategic partnership – note that nobody nowadays enters into ordinary partnerships because “strategic partnerships” sound more grandiose – is of course tipped to result in more Chinese tourists in Temple Town.

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