The European Chamber of Commerce in Cambodia (EuroCham) signed a memorandum of understanding with the Tourism Ministry yesterday aimed at promoting and developing the Kingdom’s tourism sector.
Emmanuel Menanteau, chairman of EuroCham, said the partnership would enable the chamber to promote Cambodia as a tourist destination, thereby attracting more European investments here.
“European people and companies are already involved with developing tourism in Cambodia, especially in Siem Reap province,” he said. “We will invite more businesses to come and further promote tourism.”
He added that cooperation can be seen in hotels and restaurants, transportation, airports and infrastructure, which will be facilitated by the tourism committee created by EuroCham, adding that of the total investment from its 200 or so members, 30 per cent was in tourism.
“We have a lot of members in the tourism industry, which is the key to developing and promoting tourism [as they can advise on] good ideas and practices, and also regulations for good governance,” he said.
Kong Sopheareak, director of the Statistics and Information Department at the Tourism Ministry, said the memorandum should help draw more European tourists to Cambodia.
Last year, 700,000 European tourists visited the Kingdom, accounting for nearly 16 per cent of all tourist arrivals.
Sopheareak said tourist numbers had fallen a little this year, given the tough financial situation across the European bloc, as well as last month’s bombing in Bangkok. Some 410,000 European tourists entered the Kingdom during the first seven months of 2015, a 5 per cent decrease compared to the same period a year earlier.
“If we can promote more direct flights, it would be a good opportunity for the tourist sector,” he said.
Ang Kim Eang, president of Cambodia Association of Travel Agents, said the total amount of tourists in Cambodia was still small compared to neighbouring countries, with European arrivals making up a good portion of arrivals.
“Europe is one of the big markets for promoting Cambodia‘s tourism industry. The MoU will push more European tourists and investors to Cambodia.”