Minister of Tourism Thong Khon instructed the 16 Cambodian Master’s Degree candidates who are preparing to study in New Zealand to not just study hard, but also to promote the peace and development of the Kingdom, in order to attract tourists from the southern nation.

He made the request as he met the students – who received scholarships from the New Zealand Government – on January 6 at the Ministry headquarters.

He added that through their studies, they were contributing to the building of the nation.

“Please share the achievements that the government has worked so hard to accomplish. The hard-won peace which the Kingdom enjoys has given people the opportunity to improve their socio-economic situation. It is this peace which means that you have the opportunity to study overseas,” he said.

He added that because the government has brought the Covid-19 situation under control, Cambodia is now ready to receive international tourists.

“The people are friendly and there are many attractive tourist destinations, and the recovery of domestic tourism is a credible indicator for tourists from abroad. Cambodia is promoting the “Visit Cambodia 2023” campaign and is set to host the SEA Games and the ASEAN Para Games later this year,” he continued.

Speaking on behalf of his fellow students, Put Sopheak said the scholarships were awarded as part of the assistance of the Government of New Zealand to develop human resources, society, and sustainable economies in developing countries.

“The 16 recipients are officials from public and private institutions and non-governmental organisations. They include members of the National Bank of Cambodia, the General Department of Taxation, the Ministry of Agriculture, the Council of Ministers, ACE School, the Asia-Pacific Development Bank, World Vision, the Asia Foundation and the Trailblazer Cambodia Organisation.

The 16 students are set to pursue their Master's Degrees for 1-2 years. They are focused on nine priority areas –sustainable business, accounting, agricultural science, public policy, international relations, public health, law, construction management and English language teaching.

The scholarships were offered at four universities: Victoria University of Wellington, the University of Auckland, the Auckland University of Technology and Lincoln University.