Minister of Tourism Thong Khon on December 21 advised the Cambodia Association of Travel Agents (CATA) to offer additional help to his ministry to promote the “Visit Cambodia 2023” campaign, under the slogan of “Sports and Festival”.
The minister was speaking at the annual meeting of CATA business associates and friends in the capital, his ministry said in a statement.
Khon said that his ministry is currently preparing the pertinent policy measures to run the campaign.
He urged CATA to, as soon as possible, organise activities aimed at promoting and attracting international tourists, to capitalise on regional and global market opportunities, as new travel trends emerge, notably those in ASEAN, China and India.
Offering an example, he suggested that the association team up with foreign partners to actively promote activities tied to the 32nd Southeast Asian (SEA) Games and the 12th ASEAN Para Games, which are to be held in Cambodia next year.
The minister asked CATA to keep encouraging tourism staff to acquire new skills as well as develop existing ones through training courses, so that they can do their bit to improve tourism services in line with standards.
CATA must encourage businesses among its ranks to stick to the applicable standard operating procedures (SOPs) issued by the Ministry of Tourism, in step with ‘Living with Covid-19’ strategies, he suggested.
Khon urged the organisation to keep working with his ministry on digital advertising initiatives, “farm trips”, and other joint tourism promotion activities. To this end, he recommended a working group on promotion cooperation be set up.
In response, CATA president Chhay Sivlin revealed that her association plans to organise farm trips for ASEAN travel agencies, which she said would be a new addition to the Kingdom’s tourism offerings, according to the statement.
The association also seeks an increase in the number of ASEAN tourism business matching events to improve markets and cooperation, and aims to implement a memorandum of understanding (MoU) that it signed with the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh to step up market relations with the South Asian country, she said.
Sivlin added that CATA will aim to link to the Indian tourism market, which it will study in order to promote and support direct commercial flights between Cambodia and India, in either direction, as well as create additional short-term training programmes to keep up with demand.
She also vowed that the association will resume waste awareness activities to offer support for the production of local goods, for tourism communities to generate more income.