The fifth annual CAMFOOD and CAMHOTEL expo is scheduled for October 22 and will mostly feature foreign companies, giving local companies the opportunity to learn from foreign business practices as well as showcase their own products, industry leaders announced yesterday.
In conjunction with the Cambodian Tourism Federation, AMB Tarsus Exhibitions will exhibit 300 company booths with about 60 per cent foreign companies and about 30 per cent local companies attending the three-day event at the Diamond Island Exhibition Center on Koh Pich.
“In 2010, the exhibition only had about 100 booths and today it has 300 booths, so we see a significant jump in terms of the number of exhibitors coming in,” said Andrew Siow, director of AMB Tarsus Exhibitions. “In terms of new things you can see this year, first is that there are more countries represented and a bigger arrangement of supplies.”
He said many American, Chinese and Italian companies will join the expo for the first time this year; however, an official guest list or product details will not be released until two months before the event.
According to Luu Meng, co-chair of the private sector working group on tourism, the hospitality industry, which includes hotels as well as food and beverage, accounts for 16 per cent of Cambodia’s total GDP and provides increasingly better job opportunities for locals.
“We are creating a lot of good quality jobs for people starting their career and the hospitality industry is so important for the country; it is the heart of introducing any investor.”
He explained that foreigners must have an enjoyable experience in Cambodia before they take the plunge and decide to invest in the Kingdom, a responsibility held by the hospitality industry.
“If someone wants to invest hundreds of millions of dollars but they have a bad experience in a hotel or if they have a bad experience in a restaurant or with food, they won’t invest again,” Meng said.
Therefore, he said he thinks the expo is a great opportunity for local hospitality businesses to learn how foreign companies market and brand their products, as well as showcase best practices.
“I am not surprised that there are a lot of foreign exhibitors because this is not new for them,” he said.
“Local companies come and learn from them. They cannot get this experience in any class or any school. Cambodians have very good products but they need to learn branding and marketing.”