A senior Ministry of Tourism official has met with a representative of the US’ Royal Caribbean Group to discuss adding Cambodia to the company’s cruise liner itinerary.

Chuob Ratana, director of the ministry’s Department of Tourism Development Planning, held talks with Royal Caribbean’s Joni Gevriye on February 2. 

The two sides discussed how the Kingdom’s tourism industry could be stimulated by cruise tour packages, particularly by having more ships dock in Preah Sihanouk province.

Royal Caribbean is the world’s third-largest cruise liner company, with 28 vessels travelling the world’s oceans.

Following the meeting, Ratana took to social media to explain the next stage of the procedure.

“The company will have to conduct detailed studies and then submit reports to its central office before adding the Kingdom to one of its package tours,” he said.

During the discussion, Gevriye explained several key points that would have to be inspected. 

Technical inspections of docking facilities will be necessary, as will a review of immigration and customs regulations. Once the company has concluded its research, it will work with tour agencies to develop sales packages that will link to various tourist destinations. 

“We hope our connection with the company will see more and more tourists from around the world visiting Preah Sihanouk, and turn it into a ‘rising star’ of the region. The government is striving to develop and transform the province into a Model Multi-purpose Special Economic Zone,” added Ratana.

Thourn Sinan, chairman of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Cambodia chapter, welcomed the new development, believing that fostering closer cooperation with a large cruise company had huge potential benefits for the industry.

“To whatever degree it works, it will be good for the Kingdom’s tourist sector. As long as we bring visitors to Cambodia, it is a positive. Tourism creates income for residents,” he said on February 3.