PRIME Minister Hun Sen believes that ecological biodiversity is “an invaluable resource treasure”, serving and sustaining tourism development, and has called on international tourists and investors worldwide to visit the rich, diverse tourist destinations across Cambodia.
Talking during Cambodia’s worldwide participation in the celebrations of World Tourism Day recently, he said that a wide variety of rich and perfect ecosystems played an attractive role as a tourism product for millions of tourists every year.
He said the tourism movement of environment lovers was rapidly increasing in the world, mainly in Asia, and that meant the biodiversity system really had value and played a catalytic role in sustaining the stability of the long-term increase of tourists.
“As a result tourism development plays a role as a central source for a substantial generation of jobs and income in local communities, in which it is an encouragement for them to involve and participate in the conservation of the environment, biodiversity and biosphere in the region,” said the prime minister.
He said that to foster the conservation of natural resources required education and the strengthening of public awareness of people in local communities, local authorities, the private sector and all key stakeholders about the essence of the natural asset and the impacts of their action.
With the recreational travels of millions of tourists to various areas, the tourism sector was seen as a highly efficient means for further awareness promotion of challenges related to the environment as well as to draw public attention towards the preservation of the environment and biodiversity.
While making his comments at the government’s participation in the celebration of World Tourism Day 2010 on September 27, he took the opportunity to congratulate the achievements of Cambodian tourism in poverty alleviation, macroeconomic stability and its contribution to the development of the green economy in Cambodia consistent with current global trends.
He said the theme of that day, tourism and biodiversity, was consistent with the 2010 celebration of the International Year of Biodiversity determined by the United Nations in order to mirror the importance of the biodiversity system for the future of human-beings through recognition of the close interrelationships of natural resources and socioeconomic development. The prime minister said this year’s theme would identify the prime role of sustainable tourism development contributing to natural resources conservation and responsible environment protection.
“Recently, the entire world has been challenging a number of global problems including climate change and global warming, which require special attention. This urgent challenge requires all of us, including the Royal Government of Cambodia, the international community, private sector and the citizens to hand-in-hand actively resolve it with a sense of high responsibility,” said Hun Sen.
“At present, the development of green responsible tourism at local communities such as community-based ecotourism, agro tourism and nature-based tourism would really contribute to the protection of the environment and biodiversity; cope with the world’s endlessly increasing demographic pressure including irresponsible human actions which have caused the continued loss and destruction of biodiversity.
“In this sense, the tourism sector and biodiversity have an undeniably evident close interrelationship; namely the tourism sector can never disconnect from the environment in forming a catalytic force to accelerate the socioeconomic growth, poverty alleviation and contributing to expedite the growth of various cross-sectoral industries.
“Having seen the vital role of the tourism sector in the contribution of socioeconomic growth, the Royal Government has determined it as one of the priority sectors in the Rectangular Strategy Phase II in this fourth term; and the tourism sector has been considered as green gold because it plays a vital role in improving the livelihood of locals, mainly local communities at the tourist sites.
“I would like to appeal to all citizens, royal government ministries, institutions, relevant-line authorities, private sector, national and international NGOs, to continue supporting and actively contributing to the development of the Cambodian tourism sector by participating actively and with a sense of high responsibility in the preservation and protection of cultural assets and the environment; promoting the improvement of quality tourism and service; maintaining peace, tourism safety and security,” said the prime minister.
He called for strong participation in the competitive movement of “Clean City, Clean Resort, Good Service” in order to suitably develop Cambodia: Kingdom of Wonder, and become a very attractive world-class tourist destination in the region and worldwide.
He invited international tourists and investors “from every corner of globe” to come to the Kingdom of Cambodia and to visit the rich diverse tourist destinations across the country and participate in the promotion of tourism development.