A culinary school that Cambodia had hoped to open with help from Switzerland will soon be a reality, the Ministry of Tourism said on Monday.
Minister Thong Khun told reporters he had secured an agreement to open a training centre in May.
The school, which will fall under the National Polytechnic Institute of Cambodia, will teach Cambodian food-service workers how to cook various international cuisine, something that is increasingly important as the tourism industry here continues to grow.
According to official figures, foreign tourists to the Kingdom in 2010 jumped 16 percent to 2.5 million from the year before.
“We hope that Cambodia will have human resources with better skills thanks to the opening of a new school to give services to tourists,” Thong Khon said. The minister last week had said that he hoped to sign a memorandum of understanding with Switzerland during his visit there last week in order to open the school. He did so on March 16.
The first crop of students will number between 200 and 300. Going forward, students who perform especially well will be granted scholarships for further study in Switzerland.
Ang Kim Eang, president for Cambodian Association of Travel Agents, welcomed the school, saying that tourists' culinary experience here is just as important as the Kingdom's cultural and environmental destinations. And tourists would be more likely to come, and stay longer, if there were a wider breadth of food choices for them.
“We think that training on subjects in cooking food will help Cambodia increase attraction from foreign tourists,” said Ang Kim Eang.