INDIA has urged Cambodia to open direct flights between the two countries in a bid to boost tourism.
“One of the best catalysts to promote tourist traffic between the two countries would be the establishment of a direct air link between India and Cambodia,” Indian President Paratibha Devisingh Patil said at an India-Cambodia business meeting last week. “This would open possibilities of attractive tour packages and also significantly reduce travel time.”
The proposal is now being considered by Cambodian officials.
Deputy director of the Cabinet of the Secretariat of State of Civil Aviation, Long Chheng, welcomed the initiative, citing the potential for increased bonds between the two countries and economic benefits. Director General of Tourism Ministry Tith Chan Tha, expected that the two countries would take part in further discussions on the issue.
A Tourism Ministry report showed that the number of Indian tourists visiting Cambodia rose about 4 percent in the first half of the year, to a modest 6,238 from 6,000 in the same period of 2009.
Mohan Gunti, advisor for Cambodia’s Association of Travel Agents, said that there was potential for expansion because of the Kingdom’s rich heritage.