Diethelm Travel, a Swiss-owned tour agency, officially opened its Phnom Penh office
on Oct. 21. The Bangkok-based travel agency is Thailand's leading inbound tour operator,
last year accommodating more than 135,000 visitors to the Land of Smiles.
Luzi Matzig, Diethelm's general manager in Bangkok, highlighted the need for Cambodia
to learn from Thailand's environmental mistakes while planning for expanded tourism.
"Let's try to implement those rules and laws to protect the environment in Cambodia,"
Matzig said. He pointed to Pattaya, Thailand as an example of uncontrolled tourist
development causing severe environmental problems. This could be avoided here if
Cambodia were to act appropriately, he said.
Diethelm's Phnom Penh office is a reflection of the tour agency's confidence in the
growth potential of the tourism industry in Cambodia.
"We believe Cambodia has a very grand future in tourism and we would like to
be part of it," Matzig said.
Diethelm's office at No. 8 Lenin Blvd., near the Directorate of Tourism, follows
the establishment an office in Vientiane, Laos in September, 1991. Future plans include
opening of an office in Siem Reap in March 1993, as well as an office in Ho Chi Minh
City in the near future.