The national committees tasked with organising the 32nd Southeast Asian (SEA) Games and 12th ASEAN Para Games will pursue their promotional campaign in a bid to prepare the public for the sporting extravaganza, which Cambodia host for the first time in history.

Both the Cambodian SEA Games Organising Committee (CAMSOC) and Cambodian ASEAN Para Games Organising Committee (CAMAPGOC) will erect banners and signs throughout the country from mid-January.

Thong Khon, Minister of Tourism and permanent vice-president of the committees, said: “This campaign will make sure that the games will be at the forefront of people’s minds, and demonstrate Cambodia’s readiness to host, long before the events even begin.”

Vath Chamroeun, secretary-general of the committees, confirmed that professional working groups, with the support of all capital-provincial administrations, will organise the campaign, beginning at Phnom Penh International Airport and several other prominent public places.

“The committees are ready. In preparation for the campaign, we have transferred some functions to partner businesses, as recommended by Deputy Prime Minister Tea Banh,” he added.

Nuon Phrath, deputy governor of Phnom Penh who is in charge of SEA Games outreach, said the campaign would launch on January 15 and run until late February or early March.

Nop Vy, executive director of independent media network CamboJA, said he believed that the best way to promote the events would be through a mix of traditional and social media.

“The more means used, the more coverage will be achieved. Many people use social media, it is true, but there are also those who get their information from radio, television and billboards on the streets,” he said.

Heng Kimhong, research and advocacy programme manager at the Cambodian Youth Network (CYN), expressed his pleasure at Cambodia’s hosting, describing it as a golden opportunity for the Kingdom to promote Khmer culture and civilisation to the world.

He would like to see the government share as much information as possible with the public, from scheduling to details of which nations will be visiting.

“I expect to see a lot of international guests. Therefore, billboards should not be advertising alcohol or soft drinks, but details of the games, and potential tourist attractions. This is an excellent opportunity for the Kingdom to reach an unprecedented number of potential return tourists,” he said.

The 32nd SEA Games and 12th ASEAN Para Games will take place from June 3-9.