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Gov’t prepares its tourism strategy for 2020

Gov’t prepares its tourism strategy for 2020

The Cambodian government has finalised a five-year Tourism Marketing Strategy that it hopes will help lure more visitors and investors to the Kingdom.

“The Cambodia Tourism Marketing Strategy 2015-2020 has been drawn up in response to the global tourism trend of the UN’s World Tourism Organization, International Tourism and Travel associations and organizations and in line with the ASEAN Tourism Marketing Strategy,” reads a July 24 article on state-run media agency AKP.

According to Ho Vandy, co-chair of the Government-Private Sector Working Group, the strategy will provide direction for government support of the sector over the next five years.

“This is just only a part from the Ministery of Tourism for the public side.

They are putting a strategy and guidelines to pave the way to attract more tourists,” Ho Vandy, managing director of World Express Tours and Travel, said yesterday.

The strategy, soon to be submitted to the Council of Ministers for approval, will give help investors to understand the potential in the industry, he added.

“Transparency on the public side will encourage the public and private sector to work together, and we will meet other people to support it,” Vandy said.

Cambodia had expected to see 5 million tourists in 2015, but Minister of Tourism Thong Kohn admitted last week that this was unlikely to happen.

Kohn could not be reached for comment yesterday, but in a separate AKP article last week the ministers said that global terrorism, outbreaks of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome and a weakening Russian economy had led to a slowdown in visItors.

Cambodia received 4.5 million tourists in 2014, up nearly 7 per cent from 2013.

AKP reports that the Kingdom expects that 7.5 million tourists a year will visit by 2020.

Ang Kim Eang, president of the Cambodian Association of Travel Agents, said the strategy should focus on improving access to tourism in rural areas.

“The community doesn’t know how to network so the government needs to promote networking between the community and travel agent,” Eang said.

“Another challenge is that the local communities are supposed to maintain the same standard of quality for tourism, but the basic infrastructure like electricity and water supply isn’t there and some of the communities are not easy to access in terms of roads and transportation.”

Eang believes that Cambodia should also try to attract more tourists from outside of Asia, which currently accounts for 70 per cent of tourists.

“Cambodian tourism is a long-haul destination, so we need more visits from people in North American, Europe and Australia,” he said.

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