The Kep provincial Department of Tourism has launched a tour guide training initiative for five fishing and three ecotourism communities. This is aimed at bolstering their capacity to offer information and hospitality to domestic and international tourists during the forthcoming high season.

Department director Som Chenda, said on October 11 that the fishing villages included in the training are Thmey, Kampong Tralach, O’Krasar, Kep and Angkol. The ecotourism destinations include Koh Tonsay, Phnom Voar and Phnom Sor Sea. Representatives of tuk-tuk drivers and students from the Don Bosco Technical School have also taken part.

“Because the fishing community provides sightseeing services, the department organised this training course to enhance hospitality skills and underscore the importance of tourism in their area,” he said.

He noted that beyond fishing, these locations boast attractions like mangrove forests, canals and lakes, which can attract visitors and elevate local restaurants and businesses.

“Training is pivotal for our [group]. It has introduced substantial hospitality skills to our people and provided guidance to render the area more appealing while innovating new tourism products,” said Nus Yep, deputy chairman of Thmey Village Fishing Community located in the Prey Thom commune of Kep town.

Yep also noted that his fishing group, along with five others across the province, are diligently working to conserve and expand mangrove forest areas, having a keen eye towards evolving into an eco-tourism fishing community in future endeavours.

The department has also advised these zones to prioritise sanitation and environmental considerations, with a specific focus on arranging adequate restroom facilities and ensuring entertainment spaces are both “beautiful and charming”.

Chenda stated that the department intends to extend training to other tourism enterprises in Kep, gearing up to welcome a surge of both domestic and international tourists in the upcoming tourism high season. During this period, Kep anticipates hosting tens of thousands of tourists and is in thorough preparation for the 10th Sea Festival set for year’s end.