By Sok Lak
Cambodia, Vietnam and African tourism officials on July 12 in Phnom Penh launch “Sharing Tourism Development Experience in Cambodia, Vietnam and Africa” workshops to discuss tripartite tourism cooperation, and promoting tourism development.
According to Chief Office of International Cooperation Department for Ministry of Tourism Low Sothoon that last year Cambodia received 2.5 million tourists with 1.75 billion income in which Asia-Pacific countries accounted for 72.06% of visitors, ASEAN countries accounted for 38.38 %, European tourists accounted for 19.81%, American tourist accounted for 7.94%, Middle East countries accounted for 0.31%, but African countries accounted for only 0.18%. Therefore, the Ministry of Tourism is working with African countries tourism officials to attract more tourists to Cambodia and travel Africa.
He stressed that it is first time of tripartite meeting, but he thought that this seminar will find effective measures to strengthen the tripartite tourism cooperation, from which to promote tourism development.
Ang Kim Eang, President of Cambodia Association of Travel Agents, said that the reason why African tourist is less in Cambodia, because there is have no direct flight to Cambodia. However, he believed that Cambodia is potential for African tourists to visit while this country is full of nature resource and world heritage.”
Mrs. Justina Chinyimba, Director of Tourism for Ministry of Tourism, said Zanbia is the heart of Africa which has 40 spectacular waterfalls and over 5,000 heritage sites with 0.9 million visitors in 2010.
She added that the visitors of Cambodia and African countries is still small number, because the two sides have not yet opened direct flights to promote bilateral tourism development. “African visitors spend much time and money to travel to Cambodia due they need to fight Singapore first then go to Cambodia,” she told the Southeast Asia Weekly.
She added Zambia try to establish the relationship with Cambodia and exchange products between two countries. “The only problem for building relationship between two countries we have is connectivity.” The strategy to encourage Zambia people come to Cambodia is to operate travel agency and both countries ‘agency need to work together so that they can introduce people to visit Zambia as well as Cambodia.”
Do Duc Dinh, President Vice-Chairman of Vietnam’s Committee for people’s Solidarity of Asia, Afria and Latin America, said that Vietnam and Cambodia welcome and look forward to cooperation with African countries to strengthen tourism sties, to enhance the African tourists to Vietnam and Cambodia, the number of visitors.
Source: The Southeast Asia Weekly, July 17-23, 2011, Vol. 5, Issue 29, Page 8