In a delightful three-day extravaganza, Battambang province became a hub of activity as over 350,000 enthusiastic visitors, both local and international, flocked to indulge in the Khmer Food Fairs, thrilling boat races, and spirited New Year’s Eve celebrations. 

According to a report from the Battambang provincial Department of Tourism, the December 29-31 events cast their magic, drawing in 352,790 local tourists and 918 international visitors.

Surpassing the previous year’s charm, local tourist numbers sprouted by an impressive 67.78 per cent, while international tourists joined the festivities with a delightful increase of 20.16 per cent.

The vibrant atmosphere and diverse attractions proved irresistible, as the combined visitor count soared by 67.60 per cent, setting a new record compared to the same period the year prior, which welcomed 211,038 holiday revellers.

Battambang provincial governor Sok Lou set the tone at the opening of the Khmer Food Fair on December 29. He highlighted the allure of the gastronomy sector, acting as a magnet for both local and international visitors. 

Lou said that regional culinary delights not only tantalize taste buds but also play a pivotal role in elevating Battambang’s status as a destination, complementing its wealth of natural, ancient and cultural attractions. 

“People who’ve experienced the charm of Battambang find themselves eager for a return, drawn by the allure of our diverse and delectable cuisine. It’s not just a visit; it’s a taste adventure. We’ve observed that the culinary sector holds tremendous promise for our province,” he said.

The governor added that the provincial administration is actively working to boost the local economy, aiming to create job opportunities and curb the trend of local emigration.

The Khmer Food Fair showcased nearly 100 dishes, celebrating Battambang’s gastronomic richness.

The event marked a significant achievement as Battambang became the first Cambodian town to join the UNESCO Creative Cities Network in October 2023 for its distinctive culinary contributions.