Man about town: 14 June 2013

Man about town: 14 June 2013

Emmett McHenry, the ebullient general manager of Sokha Angkor Resort, has done a Barack Obama – he’s been voted in for a second term in the presidency.

In Emmett’s case, he returns as president of the Siem Reap chapter of the Cambodian Hotel Association, after first being voted back on the board.

Having been voted as president in Siem Reap automatically makes him vice-president of the Association in Phnom Penh, where he serves under the presidency of Luu Meng.

The Association’s Siem Reap chapter has dramatically boosted its membership numbers, and now represents 24 hotels. Before, the Association only dealt with 5-star hotels – but it has broadened its scope and in a recent initiative members were recruited from 3 and 4-star hotels.

The Loy9 Blood Drive featured in last week’s Siem Reap Insider exceeded organiser’s hopes and targets.

The Angkor Hospital for Children was hoping for 50 donors but attracted 61 donors, including 55 Khmers and six westerners. The hospital was particularly pleased with the large number of Khmer donors as the promotional push behind the drive was to convince Khmer people to overcome their prejudices and donate.

Meanwhile, the Siem Reap Provincial Hospital also reported healthy donor figures – 61 people donated blood.

Siem Reap is set to become part of the booming travel mart scene, which will bring large numbers of influential guests to town, hopefully during the low season.

TTR Weekly reported on June 7 that Cambodia is planning to start its own annual travel mart, possibly as early as 2014 according to ministry of tourism officials who were attending the Thailand Travel Mart.

Prak Vuth, Cambodian Ministry of Tourism marketing and promotion office chief in charge of Asean markets, apparently said that the ministry was studying options. He was quoted by TTR as saying, “ The event will have to be annual, a trade show for international tour operators…We were thinking to hold it end of this year but that is not be possible because we have the sea festival to organise too.”

But unlike travel marts in Thailand and Vietnam, the Cambodia mart will not promote the region, but concentrate solely on promoting Cambodia.

TTR also reported that the Pacific Asia Travel Association will host its annual travel mart in Siem Reap in September 2014, the first time a major trade show has been hosted in the World Heritage town.

Halona Padiachy, manager of communications for the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), confirmed that the trade show would take place in Siem Reap next year.

She told Man About, “PATA has confirmed the Ministry of Tourism, Cambodia as the host country for our annual PATA Travel Mart in 2014.”

She added that her organisation is “in the very early stages of planning,” hence details of precise dates, venues, content etc., aren’t available at the moment.
TTR Weekly also gleaned interesting data at the Thailand Travel Mart, reporting that this year the Cambodian Ministry of Tourism expects tourist arrivals to reach 4 million, up from 3.5 million in 2012. It projects seven million visits by 2020. TTR Weekly noted, “At the present market share ratio, 4 million of those visits would go to Siem Reap and the balance through Phnom Penh.”

Meanwhile, last month Cambodia’s statistics and tourist information department reported that tourist arrivals had registered an 18.3 percent growth in March, compared to the same month in 2012. This equated to 382,206 visits in March 2013, of which Siem Reap, unsurprisingly, nabbed the major share with 214,746 tourists, or 56.2 per cent of all arrivals.

This represented an increase in tourism for Siem Reap of 8.1 per cent.


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