Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Chinese tourism MoU signed

Chinese tourism MoU signed

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Cambodia and China signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on tourism cooperation for which aims at attracting more Chinese tourists and investors to the Kingdom. Heng Chivoan

Chinese tourism MoU signed

Cambodia and China have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on tourism cooperation for 2019-21, one which aims to attract more Chinese tourists and investors to the Kingdom.

The MoU was signed by Cambodian Minister of Tourism Thong Khon and Lin Jingzhen, Bank of China executive vice-president, during the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing on Friday.

The content of the agreement includes product creation, marketing, promotion and the creation of online or digital payment systems for Chinese tourists.

Ministry of Tourism spokesman Top Sopheak on Sunday said the MoU will further attract Chinese tourists and investors to the Kingdom.

“The Chinese coming to Cambodia will not all be tourists but also investors. The arrival of tourists will create new jobs for Cambodians,” he said.

The Kingdom expects to receive three million Chinese tourists by next year, five million by 2025 and eight million by 2030.

The MoU also cited increasing air connectivity to key tourism destinations, human resource training and capacity building for public officials, as well as activities to support and promote the development of Cambodian tourism.

Self-service creation

Some argue that the influx of Chinese tourists does not provide much in the way of positive impacts for local communities as they mostly use products and services set up by other Chinese.

However, a Ministry of Tourism spokesman said that although locals usually do not receive direct benefits from the tourism sector, they may indirectly do so.

“I recognise that in some places [the Chinese] run businesses to serve other Chinese, but such businesses are also open to Cambodians.”

Pacific Asia Travel Association president Thourn Sinan hailed the MoU as a boost for cooperation with China.

He said that to benefit locals, authorities must strengthen the enforcement of its laws to limit the types of businesses foreigners can open and the size of their initial investments. This would stop them from taking capital and opening businesses on a whim, he said.

“I am optimistic that Cambodia will not lose the benefits of cooperation with China if we follow our existing laws,” he said.

Government-Private Sector Working Group on Tourism co-chair Luu Meng said the increasing number of tourist arrivals is a good thing because the tourism sector can improve people’s standard of living.

However, he said: “Cambodia should also strengthen law enforcement, management and the business practices of foreigners.”

Cambodia last year received a total of 6.2 million tourists, up 11 per cent compared with 2017. Chinese tourists made up the largest group for the second consecutive year, with approximately two million visitors last year, Ministry of Tourism data shows.


  • Woman detained for murder of hairdresser over unpaid $1K debt

    A woman has been held in connection with the murder of a 40-year-old widow. The victim’s daughter claims the motive was the suspect’s unpaid four million riel ($1,000) debt to her mother. The 17-year-old girl, Pich Sievmey, said her mother, Koem Yaneang, a hairdresser

  • ‘Life goes on’ if Cambodia loses Everything But Arms

    Cambodia's business sector is exploring ways to mitigate any fallout from a possible loss of access to the EU’s Everything But Arms (EBA) agreement as talks continue before the 28-member bloc makes a final decision. The EU monitoring process is set to conclude in

  • Nesat beach: A magnet drawing tourists to the Kingdom’s coastline

    A white sandy beach lined by countless coconut trees awaits travellers off Cambodia’s southwest coast in Koh Kong province’s Srae Ambel district, about 170km from Phnom Penh. Over the past few years Nesat beach – a name inspired by a nearby fishing village – has

  • Woman confesses to murder, dismemberment over debt

    The daughter of a woman who was killed and dismembered in Phnom Penh earlier this month requested the authorities on Wednesday to impose the death penalty on the woman who killed her mother, after listening to the killer confess and describe her gruesome actions without