The Ministry of Tourism on March 30 announced that it would hold a five-day cultural, tourism and sports exhibition at the 85ha Morodok Techo National Sports Complex from April 6-10 in northeastern Phnom Penh.
Organised in collaboration with “partner company KHBN”, the event will celebrate the Khmer New Year, promote Khmer culture and tourism products, and showcase the five-storey national stadium, the ministry said in a statement.
Ministry spokesman Top Sopheak told The Post on March 31 that another main purpose for the exhibition would be to highlight that the complex would not only host major sporting events, but also cultural, tourism-related and other entertainment activities.
Sopheak said the ministry expects a large number of people to attend the event, especially tourists, citing significant improvements in the Covid-19 situation aided by a vaccination rate nearing 100 per cent and a high level of herd immunity.
He listed some of the activities planned for the event as product showcases; Khmer folk games; Chai Yam, Garuda Dance, and other traditional song and dance performances; Khmer martial arts displays; and “TikTok contests”, singing competitions, and a women’s pageant that showcases attire from the classical era of Cambodian history.
Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Cambodia chapter chairman Thourn Sinan contended that most any large event would benefit the Kingdom regardless of its subject matter – save for beer, addictive drugs, or similar which he argued “affect and destroy society”. He named tourism, culture, agriculture and sports as more befitting themes.
He also argued that because the exhibition was not international in nature, it would “attract only local tourists”.
Nonetheless, Sinan voiced appreciation for the organisers and their resolve to arrange the event despite Covid-19.
“Although I don’t know if there’ll be B2B [business-to-business] or B2C [business-to-consumer] marketing at the exhibition, whether it’s a little or a lot, it’ll bring gains for tourism, culture and sports,” he said.
In the tourism ministry’s March 30 statement, minister Thong Khon said the exhibition would be “an important tourism product” that provides entertainment to Phnom Penh residents and visitors from other provinces.
He issued a broad invitation to the public to attend the event, and described the national sports complex as “one of the most suitable venues for events” with the Win-Win Monument and the Phnom Penh Safari in the area, which he said are both “important attractive tourism products”.
He also drew attention to other events celebrating the Khmer New Year – which falls on April 14 this year – held in Siem Reap and Kampong Chhnang provinces, as well as other towns and provinces, at the discretion of the local authorities.