Prime Minister Hun Sen approved the establishment of a new interministerial task force yesterday that will work to develop and manage community-based ecotourism locations in a bid to find sustainable ways to draw tourists to destinations across the Kingdom.
Minister of Tourism Thong Khon will be the president of the new task force, while Minister of Environment Say Sam Al and Minister of Agriculture Veng Sokhon will be deputy presidents.
Sokhon said that the task force was formed to ensure that the relevant ministries work together in developing community-based ecotourism locations, while allowing them also evaluate each other’s performance to achieve effective results.
“The new task force will promote ecotourism and we will select potential communities to help promote the incomes for people living there,” he said, adding that the government has already defined 516 fishing communities, 477 freshwater communities and 540 forest communities that could get ecotourism status.
“We will work together as a team to select the potential communities and help develop the infrastructure needed in order for tourists to access them,” he said. “We also want to help promote awareness in these communities on how they can provide quality services to tourists while teaching them how to manage their finances.”
He added that the task force was already looking at identifying communities in the provinces of Koh Kong, Kampong Thom, Oddar Meanchey, Preah Vihear, Stung Treng, Rattanakiri and Mondulkiri.