The Ministry of Tourism has been promoting trips to Cambodia and boosting tour package sales at the Internationale Tourismus-Borse Berlin (ITB Berlin) 2023, currently taking place in Berlin, Germany.
Held annually, ITB Berlin is the world's largest tourism trade fair with a wide range of businesses from the tourism industry represented there, such as airlines, hotels, tour operators and car rental companies as well as delegations from government ministries and departments from around the world.
Thong Rathsak, head of the ministry’s Tourism Development and International Cooperation, said Cambodia’s participation was in order to implement the "2020-2025 Roadmap for Recovery of Cambodia Tourism during and post Covid-19".
Cambodia recently launched its “Visit Cambodia 2023” tourism campaign with the slogan “Every Day is a Wonder” and a primary focus on sports as the Kingdom prepares to host the SEA Games and ASEAN Para Games.
“We established this cooperation with reference to a February 15, 2023 meeting between Prime Minister Hun Sen and German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier on his first official visit to Cambodia after the Covid-19 crisis,” Rathsak said.
He said Cambodia had also promoted the 32nd SEA Games and the 12th ASEAN Para Games with the theme “sports live peace” to attract more international tourists to Cambodia and strengthen relations with private partners in the European market, especially that of Germany.
Thourn Sinan, chairman of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Cambodia Chapter, said that ITB Berlin is not just focused on markets in Germany but around the world as it is one of the world’s largest expo events of its kind.
“The participation of the public and private sectors in this tourist fair was of prime importance in promoting Cambodia as a rich tourist destination. We don’t just sell tour packages,” he said.
Rathsak noted that at the event, his ministry delegates attended workshops on "Expectations and Forecasts from the Customers’ Perspective", "Travel Industry of Tomorrow" and "Tourism Sector Climate Action".
The delegation also attended some meetings with the UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) such as the ITB ministers' roundtable "Mastering Transformation on a Global Scale" and the industry roundtable "Transition in Travel".
A ministry report indicated that this past year saw around 2.2 million international and local tourists visiting various destinations in Cambodia, with the largest number of international guests coming from Thailand, Vietnam and the US in that order.
Although 2022's numbers represented a climb upward from the previous year, it was still far short of the 2019 record-breaking year just before the pandemic, when 6.61 million international tourists visited Cambodia.