Minister of Environment Eang Sophalleth stated that the ministry is carefully pursuing the implementation of ecotourism as its primary focus.

Experts have expressed their support for this initiative, believing that it will enhance the nation’s tourism industry.

The environment minister made the remarks during a September 12 meeting with Colin Poole, regional program coordinator for the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) Asia Regional Conservation Hub, according to the ministry’s social media post.

He continued that the ministry’s primary focus remains the careful implementation of ecotourism practices.

This effort specifically centres on developing a seamless natural ecotourism corridor that connects various areas together.

“Focusing on ecotourism practice is meant to attract tourists, and it helps reduce deforestation as people will not cut down trees if they can generate income from tourists,” he said.

In the meeting, both sides discussed four main points, including IBIS rice, community development, reducing the use of plastics and natural resource management.

Poole expressed his interest and support for efforts to reduce plastic usage. He intends to collaborate continuously in partnership with development initiatives to align with the ministry’s goals in the initial phase of the government’s Pentagonal Strategy.

In this regard, Chhay Sivlin, president of the Cambodia Association of Travel Agents, highlighted the potential benefits for the tourism sector.

She noted that there are numerous untapped ecotourism areas in the country that could greatly benefit from such initiatives.

“Cambodia boasts a unique wealth of ecotourism opportunities compared to other countries,” she underscored.

“With proper support for the development of these ecotourism destinations, it will not only attract tourists but also stimulate the local and national economy. Additionally, it can play a pivotal role in promoting the sustainable utilisation of natural resources within ecotourism communities,” she said.