Hope on the Horizon

Tourists are starting to make their way back to Cambodia, and the government is launching an eight-pronged strategy to help ensure they keep doing so

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The Ministry of Tourism has unveiled an eight-part strategy to increase the number of international visitors to Cambodia to 7.5 million and local tourists to 16 million

Over the first nine months of this year, ticket sales for the Angkor Archaeological Park saw a 20-fold increase over the same period last year. More than 134,000 foreign visitors accounted for ticket revenues of $5.36 million for the Park, and also gave grounds for optimism for the future.

This heritage site is essential to attract tourists, create jobs and generate income for our people in the tourism sector,” Prime Minister Hun Sen said during a visit to the Angkor Park at the beginning of this month.

During the pre-COVID-19 era, Angkor collected up to 2.2 million international visitors in 2019, generating $99 million in revenue from ticket sales, Angkor Enterprise reported. In 2020, the tourism industry as a whole brought in over $1 billion for Cambodia, a figure that plummeted to $184 million last year.

The government is now targeting 7.5 million visitors over the next five years with an eight-pronged strategy published at the end of last month.

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The first four elements of the strategy cover developing creative and innovative tourism products and services, improving the quality of tourism services in accordance with recognised standards, supporting the training of tourism professionals, and promoting convenience and safety in tourism transportation and mobility.

The other four aim to improve capacity building, research and promotion of Cambodian tourism, encourage the adoption of modern tourism technologies, initiate more key policies to support tourism development, and to strengthen tourism governance mechanisms and human resource development.
According to the report, the Ministry of Tourism has defined major policies, plans and strategies for the next five years for effective management and development of the tourism sector.

Sustainable tourism development is a government priority to develop the nation and serve the best interests of the people,” says the report.

Ministry figures reveal that Cambodia recorded 998,272 international arrivals in the first eight months of 2022, marking a 720 percent year-on-year increase. August accounted for more than a quarter of this, with 254,813, up 7.65 percent from July (236,697), which saw a 44.95 percent jump from June (163,298).

Adapted from an article in Cambodge Mag

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