Newly appointed Minister of Tourism Sok Soken requested his officials to work with the relevant ministries and institutions as well as the private sector, development partners and communities to make Cambodia a safer and more attractive tourist destination.

Civil servants must strive to contribute to the development of tourism, especially by strengthening their capacity, skills and talents, he said at a meeting with the General Department of Tourism Industry Management and the National Institute of Tourism on September 5.

Soken said this was so they could contribute to the effective use of modern methods and technologies in work operations.

“More attention must be paid to strengthening and expanding partnerships in tourism development to develop a vibrant tourism sector and respond to the sector’s needs in a timely manner,” he said.

Angkor Tourist Guide Association president Khieu Thy told The Post on September 6 that the private sector is happy to work with the government to develop strategies and develop new resorts to bring in more international tourists.

At present, he said, although Covid-19 measures have been lifted, the number of foreign arrivals is “still small” compared to before 2019, especially visitors from “far away countries”.

However, he noted that during the pandemic, Cambodia built public infrastructure, including roads, hospitals and tourist sites.

“The private sector really wants to see more foreign holidaymakers come to Cambodia. We are ready to provide them with good service,” he said.

According to the Ministry of Tourism, Cambodia is expected to receive about 4.5 million international visitors and 16 million domestic tourists this year.

In the first seven months of 2023, Cambodia received 3.03 million foreign visitors, an increase of 308.5 per cent compared to 743,459 in the same period in 2022.