After a year of working long days, many people enjoy taking a holiday and travelling to other countries.
On weekday evenings, Wat Butom Vatey park, Hun Sen’s park and other public parks along the river are crowded. People in Phnom Penh enjoy getting some exercise, doing some sightseeing and relaxing at those places, just as foreigners do.
Besides those in the capital, there are many places in the provinces where local and international tourists can see wonderful attractions. They can visit the ancient Angkor Wat temples, climb a mountain to see the waterfall at Chambok or swim in the sea at Sihanoukville.
“Clean city, clean resort, good service” is the slogan produced by Ministry of Tourism, but Cambodia still faces some challenges before it can live up to that motto.
Litter in the streets is one of the most important issues the government needs to take action on. Local people think nothing of throwing their rubbish on the roadway as they travel along; they seem not to care about spoiling the beauty of our capital city.
Last month, in an attempt to keep the city clean, Phnom Penh’s Capital Hall launched a public awareness campaign on littering that included fines for illegal dumping.
Although that announcement was made to raise awareness of littering, we still see piles of rubbish in the streets and at many tourist sites in the Kingdom.
Often a resort looks very nice and its decor is beautiful, but the owner of the resort seems to be careless when it comes to rubbish, which is not placed in a proper bin.
That’s a really bad image for foreigners visiting this country. Seeing, and smelling, piles of garbage will almost certainly create a poor impression.
Some people visiting tourist sites seem as though they simply don’t care about the environment. We have seen people who, even though they know there are rubbish bins handy, still dump their litter outside the bins.
This is a terrible habit, and we would suggest that those people reconsider their behaviour.
Tourism is the most important sector when it comes to increasing Cambodia’s income. The Kingdom’s tourist industry has just begun growing again after the economic crisis of the past couple of years.
On September 19, The Phnom Penh Post reported that the number of foreign tourists visiting Cambodia through the Poi Pet international checkpoint with Thailand had increased by more than 26 per cent year-on-year between January and August.
Whenever we walk along the riverside in Phnom Penh, there is rubbish floating in the water. Some people throw garbage in the river without realising it can pollute the water, harming fish and other marine species.
Having lived in Sweden, in northern Europe, for a short time, we know Swedish people do care about waste. To be honest, Sweden is the cleanest country we’ve ever been to.
While we were living there, we never saw any rubbish on the streets and we wondered where the rubbish collectors were. In our country, we always see rubbish collectors.
We would suggest that the government and garbage-collection companies have an obligation to lift their game. They should operate more effectively than they do now.
We need to improve Cambodia in order to compete with the neighbouring countries. Thailand, for example, has become one of the most popular destinations for international tourists.
Every day on television, we could see public announcements advising people to behave properly and keep Cambodia beautiful by putting their garbage in a proper place.
Young people can also play an important role by keeping their campuses fresh. If it starts with you, then things will definitely change.