Ministry of Tourism and Angkor International Coordinating Commission Consult Each Other on Enhancing Tourism Actions in Angkor Area
(Phnom Penh): The Ministry of Tourism, APSARA Authority, Angkor International Coordinating Commission (ICC-Angkor), together with UNESCO to Cambodia had met to discuss on reinforcing tourism activities in Angkor area and surrounding areas. The meeting was conducted at the office of the Ministry of Tourism on July 31, 2019, under presidency of H.E. Mr. Thong Khon, Minister of Tourism, with the participation from H.E. Prof Azedine BESCHAOUCh, Permanent Secretary of ICC-Angkor, H.E. Hang Pov, Director of APSARA Authority, Co-chairpersons of ICC (French, Japan) and Director of UNESCO to Cambodia and other some civil servants. H.E. Thong Khon stressed that this could be considered as the first meeting which co-chairpersons, experts of ICC-Angkor, UNESCO, APSARA Authority and Ministry of Tourism came together to discuss about the boosting tourism actions in Angkor area (separately speaking) and within Siem Reap area (commonly speaking). Of course, Angkor Wat Temple, as the national soul has been a significantly foundation in sustaining Cambodian tourism development, and cultural tourism is a vital back bourn of Cambodian tourism field; while Siem Reap province is also a prioritized tourist destination for Cambodia. In last 2018, Cambodia gained about 6.2 million international tourists, in growth of 11%, in which Siem Reap province got about 2.59 million international tourists, increased by 5.43%. During 6 months early of 2019, tourists visited Siem Reap province accounted for about 1.24 million, decreased by 8.29%. H.E. Minister underlined that “we have a number of issues needed to jointly discuss; yet the first major matter is that Siem Reap province is needed to develop further new tourism products to attract tourists and extend their stay”. In last 2018, to sustain the tourists’ growths visited to Siem Reap province, the Royal Government adapted to formulate an Inter-Ministries Task Force to study on the preparation for Siem Reap Provincial Tourism Development Master Plan, chaired by the Ministry of Tourism, and currently the task force has been actively studying this mater plan. This master plan will be mainly focused on Siem Reap provincial development, particularly the Siem Reap city which is the tourism, heritage and environmental considered city (Eco-City), which is to be integrated on economic, social, cultural, environmental and architectural aspects and the integration with Temple Management Plan (TMP) of APSARA Authority too. Along with this, the Ministry of Tourism has been cooperating with stakeholders in organizing the certain works to boost on Siem Reap provincial tourism development, including:
– Promoting on Siem Reap city surrounding tourist destinations development, particularly Prek Teal area, Tonle Sap Lake, Kulen Mountain and tourism communities in order to create the new tourism products and to extend the stay of tourists;
– Motivating to have infrastructural development in the province by having to repair roads, preparing the sufficiently water supplying system and electricity and have to organize a properly solid and liquid waste managing system in line with environmental standard, the preparation of car parks, public toilets, the controlling on transportation ways, the public order in the city, act.
– Improving the quality of tourism services and human resource in tourism sector responding to tourist growths by having to reinforce the quality of Tourism Professional Training Schools, internal training and enhancing the ASEAN standard implementation in tourism sector.
H.E. Prof. Azedine BESCHAOUCH requested the Ministry of Tourism to highlight the Siem Reap Provincial Development Master Plan and Strategic Plans within a Plenary Session of International Coordinating Commission which will be held in the upcoming November 2019. H.E. Prof also asked to have a better cooperation on Angkor Management Plan for instance, tourist managing booths, tour package division, the part at the front of Angkor temple, telecommunication network at the Bayon temple, terrace, Preak Pitu temple and at the Kulen area as well as the preparation of internet network Wifi, the new international airport project management in Siem Reap province too. H.E. Thong Khon is satisfied in receiving these requests and gets ready for constantly cooperating with ICC-Angkor and APSARA Authority. Together with this, His Excellency and colleagues reported clearly ICC-Angkor’s delegation about vision and perspective of Tourism Development Master Plan in Siem Reap Angkor from 2020 – 2035 by committed jointly to developing Siem Reap Angkor and surrounding areas in sustainable and high responsive manner. Along with the request APSARA Authority to accelerate the Angkor area management plan implementation, and to consider in creating the proper, attractive new tourism products and to ensure the sustainability of a well-known world heritage tourist destination development with high responsibility, H.E. Minister also requested to have 3 or 6 moths a time between APSARA Authority, Siem Reap provincial hall, Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Environment and many other major ministries with the necessary participation from UNESCO an the experts of ICC-Angkor too.