The Cambodia Association of Travel Agents (CATA) have announced that over 20 Cambodian companies will exhibit at the upcoming International Tourism Exhibition (ITB Berlin 2024), in a bid to highlight the Kingdom’s potential as a tourism destination and push advertise their services.

CATA president Chhay Sivlin said on February 20 that she and representatives of several private sector tourism businesses met with the Ministry of Tourism last week to discuss joining the exhibition – an annual expo that brings together tourism companies and visitors from around the world. 

She added that the event, one of the world’s leading tourism trade summits, will take place from March 5-7 in the German capital Berlin.

“The tourism ministry will rent booths for each of the Cambodian companies. They will be shared by 20 firms, who will exhibit uniquely Cambodian tourism products, while the tourism ministry will showcase the Kingdom’s traditional arts,” she explained.

She said that although the German tourist market is a big one, attendance at the event would allow the participants to target many other demographics. The global companies which are set to attend are all established operations, so there would be many excellent networking opportunities.

Thourn Sinan, chairman of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Cambodia chapter, also highlighted that ITB Berlin would not just focus on the German market but a global event.

He noted that tour package sales were a popular item at the exhibition, and expressed hope that the Kingdom’s representatives could sell them not just to Germans but across the wider European market.

“The participation of the Cambodian government and private sector in this tourism exhibition is of great importance in promoting Cambodia’s many tourist destinations, not just tour package sales,” he added. 

He explained that his own company, International Management Cooperation Team (IMCT) Co Ltd, promotes tour packages in Germany every three to six months, because regular promotion is important. The more Cambodia is advertised, the more attractive it will become, he added.

“Cambodia is famous for its world cultural heritage resorts, like the Angkor Archaeological Park in Siem Reap province, as well as the Preah Vihear and Koh Ker temples [in Preah Vihear province]. In addition, the Kingdom has beautiful beaches, spanning four provinces: Preah Sihanouk, Kampot, Kep and Koh Kong. These are what we need to promote to the world,” he said. 

According to the tourism ministry, Cambodia attracted 5.43 million international tourists in 2023, a jump of 139 per cent over the 2.27 million recorded in 2022.

Guests from Thailand topped the list at 1.82 million, followed by Vietnam with 1.01 million, China with 547,789, 372,285 from Laos, and 184,780 US tourists. 

The report said that international arrivals to Cambodia were predicted to rise to seven million by 2025, a higher total than the 6.6 million who travelled to the Kingdom in 2019, just before the Covid-19 pandemic.