Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Siem Reap tourism master plan in motion

Siem Reap tourism master plan in motion

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A view of Angkor Wat temple in Siem Reap province earlier this month. YOUSOS APDOULRASHIM

Siem Reap tourism master plan in motion

The government on October 20 launched the Siem Reap Tourism Development Master Plan 2021-2035 at a virtual ceremony presided over by Ministry of Economy and Finance Aun Pornmoniroth.

The minister told the event that the plan would be a key tool driving the tourism industry in Siem Reap province, and the Kingdom, towards continual improvements in terms of quality, safety and sustainability, and undergirding a recovery in economic growth, during and after Covid-19.

The plan was greenlit by the government on March 30, and its launch comes after quarantine requirements for most fully-vaccinated travellers was reduced from 14 to seven days, as the Kingdom presses ahead with its phased reopening plans.

The master plan prescribes seven primary strategic areas for quality tourism development in the province and surrounding regions through 2035 – prioritisation of tourist sites; new tourism products; promotion; quality and sustainability; environmental management; infrastructure and connectivity; and administration.

Pornmoniroth said: “With the introduction and furtherance of these strategies and key plans, I surmise that we’ll be able to restore and prop up the tourism sector in Cambodia, in the context of the national framework, and directly in Siem Reap province above all.

“We can seize the opportunities made possible by this crisis to roll out in-depth reforms – designed to turn Cambodia into a quality, safe and sustainable tourist destination – that will bear fruit and offer support for a recovery in economic growth in light of the Covid-19 crisis.”

Minister of Tourism Thong Khon lauded the master plan as a critical strategic instrument that could transform Siem Reap into a major, beguiling tourist destination that is popular in the region and the rest of the world, through development based on natural and cultural heritage, history and religion, embellished by the consciousness of being Khmer.

The plan could, inter alia, bolster development of rich tourism resources in the provinces, generate high-quality tourist experiences, win global recognition for efforts to conserve and protect cultural heritage and the natural environment, he said.

Foreign tourists will come to the Kingdom, stimulating local economic development and contributing to poverty alleviation and the climate change cause, he added.

“To outline the ingredients needed to capture the vision of sustainable tourism development, against a backdrop of fiercer tourism competition during and after the Covid-19 crisis, the master plan sets out the overall scope, integrating cultural and eco-tourism offerings for Siem Reap, bearing in mind that visiting Angkor temple has traditionally been the primary reason for tourists to come to the province.” Khon said.

Cambodia Association of Travel Agents president Chhay Sivlin said the master plan will play a fundamental role in the Kingdom’s tourism revival, especially for Siem Reap, following a steep Covid-induced slump.

The launch of the plan comes as Cambodia readies to reopen its economy and welcome back fully-vaccinated foreign tourists, she said.

“The decision to implement the master plan will greatly contribute to the enhancement of tourism sector. The master plan also incorporates key elements that will ensure that Cambodia’s tourism sector is sustainable with a long-term vision,” Sivlin said.

On April 1, the Ministry of Tourism said that through the strategies put forth by this and supplementary instruments, Siem Reap could attract 10.9 million domestic tourists by 2023 and 7.5 million international tourists by 2025, creating 940,000 jobs and generating an additional $6 billion in revenue for the province’s economy.

From January-July, Cambodia received 112,544 international visitors, marking a steep decline of 90.6 per cent year-on-year, according to the tourism ministry.

MOST VIEWED

  • Siem Reap drain canal now ‘mangrove’ promenade

    A more than half a kilometre long stretch of canal in Siem Reap has been covered and turned into a promenade to attract visitors, said Ly Rasmey, secretary of state at the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction, on September 16. The new pedestrianised

  • Angkor wildlife, aquarium park still to open October

    The Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium complex about 30km southeast of Siem Reap town with initial total investment of more than $70 million is reportedly still on track for an end-October opening. The park is located on a 100ha plot along National Road 6 in Kbon village, Khchas

  • Final verdicts for Khmer Rouge leaders ‘vital’ for next generation

    Nearly a decade after the commencement of Case 002/02 against Khieu Samphan back in 2014, the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) is now set to deliver its final verdict for the former Khmer Rouge head of state. The Supreme Court Chamber of the ECCC,

  • Typhoon Noru brings flash floods – 16 dead

    An official warned that that the 16th typhoon of the season, Noru, had brought heavy rains to areas the Mekong River and flooded thousands of homes in the provinces bordering Thailand. As of September 27, the death toll from the flooding had risen to 16. National Committee

  • Defence minister reaffirms Kingdom’s staunch support for One-China policy

    Minister of National Defence General Tea Banh has reaffirmed Cambodia’s unwavering support for the One-China policy. Tea Banh was speaking at the September 20 ceremonial handover of 117 vehicles and other military equipment donated by China’s defence ministry, held at Phnom Chumreay International Military Training

  • Deaths due to ‘lifestyle’ diseases rise in Kingdom

    The Ministry of Health has called on people to pay closer attention to their health to protect themselves from non-communicable diseases (NCDs) which it said have caused high rates of deaths in the country. Ministry secretary of state York Sambath made the call at a