The Ministry of Environment has launched a mobile app which will share maps and information about Cambodia’s ecotourism destinations with travellers.

The app – called Doe Leng Sruk Yoeng, or “Travelling in our country” – is available on both Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store.

The bilingual Khmer and English app – called Doe Leng Sruk Yoeng on the Apple Store and Doelengsrukyoeng in Khmer script on Google Play – was officially released with a glitzy ceremony at the ministry headquarters in Phnom Penh on August 15.

Ministry leaders and officials, along with representatives of an array of local and international organisations and development partners, including the World Bank, were in attendance.

According to the ministry, the app is part of its “Sustainability of Cambodia’s landscape and eco-tourism” initiative, and is designed to promote ecotourism destinations by providing clear information to travellers.

The app’s functions include maps, help with planning journeys and a wide range of detailed information about the Kingdom’s unique landscapes, flora and fauna. The app will share text messages and images with users, in order to give them a better understanding of the natural wonders they are interacting with.

It is hoped that by promoting the development of ecotourism destinations, the livelihoods of the communities within protected areas will be gradually improved. As more and more people visit the forests and mountains of the protected areas, more revenue will be generated, strengthening the economies of local communities’ and reducing their need to rely on non-sustainable natural resources.

Addressing the launch ceremony, minister Say Samal expressed his appreciation to the working group and their partner organisations that developed the app.

He described the app as more than just a useful tool, but a reflection of the Kingdom’s development.

“This app reflects modern Cambodian society and its embrace of new technology, civilisation and a close connection to the environment,” he said.

He explained that a society that was once torn apart by war had developed into a vibrant, well educated culture with an appreciation for the natural world.

He added that a culture of peace is now firmly rooted in the hearts of all Cambodians.

Ho Vandy, an adviser to the Cambodia Association of Travel Agents, described the app as a very useful tool. He noted that the ministry spent a long time developing it, and expected that it would make a valuable contribution to local tourism economies.

He added that he hoped the app would appeal to younger travellers, both from within the Kingdom and without, especially those with increasing disposable incomes.

“It will expand people’s awareness of the Kingdom’s many natural attractions by making it much easier for tourists to find information about places they want to visit,” he said.