4 Ecotourism Destinations Will Get a Joint Development as Package to Drive Domestic Tourist Growth
(Phnom Penh): Experts of the Ministry of Tourism cited of destination of the 4 prioritized ecotourism communities that have strongly tourism potentiality and have been attracting numerous tourists, but just not have additional development needed of having the support from inter-ministries and related institutions. Such mentioning was made in the 5thMeeting of Inter-Ministerial Working Group for Managing and Developing Tourism Community and Ecotourism, on 30 September 2020, at the office of the Ministry of Tourism, under patronage of H.E. Dr. THONG Khon, Minister of Tourism, as Chairman of Inter-Ministerial Working Group and participation from H.E. Say Sam Al, Minister of Environment, and as Permanent Vice President of the Inter-Ministerial Working Group, ministers accompanying to delegates, and representatives of other related ministries – institutions. On that occasion, the meeting raised the 4 prioritized tourism community destinations include: Ro Leak Kang Cheung Natural Tourism Community (Phnom Khnong Phsar), located in Oral district, Kampong Speu province, Phat Sanday Fishing Community, located in Kampong Svay district, Kampong Thom province, Teuk Chob Khnar Po Ecotourism Community, located in Sotnikum district, Siem Reap province, and the Toul Porn Tali Tourism Community (Boeung Sneh), located in Svay Anthor district, Prey Veng province. The meeting continued the 4 communities are newly-established communities, and have been just included tourism activities and services which need of having the additional development to community from the ministry of tourism and other related ministries – institutions. The facing challenges which are occurring in those communities include: matter of infrastructural shortage linking to community, the matter of not good roads, the matters of environment, sanitation and garbage, the lack of clean water, the lack of electricity, the mobile and internet systems are not well operated, the tour guides have not yet trained, the lack of advertisement and many other loopholes. With regard to these shortage matters, the ministry of tourism requested the related ministries – institutions to be ready for a joint development as package to communities in order to make those tourist destinations have a sustainable, innovative and high responsible prosperity. The ministry will continue researching other prioritized tourism communities to help continuing develop in relation to the above same cases. The meeting expressed, in addition that despite of pandemic of COVID-19 is the obstacle, but it is also an opportunity in driving domestic tourist movement to tourism communities and to ecotourism areas which it has contributed to impact reduction posed by COVID-19. In the context of COVID-19 pandemic, the attitude of tourists turned to adventure travel, to tourism communities and ecotourism areas rather than to crowded tourist destinations. Along with this, H.E. Minister Thong Khon said that, the inclusion of tourism and ecotourism activities into the potential communities has provided a number of benefits as well as the jobs and income generation and the direct local development no matter any ministry in which the communities are under. For example, in case of Ministry of Environment’s Ro Leak Kang Cheung Natural Protected Area Community, the Fisheries Administration’s Phat Sanday Fishing Community, and the Forestry Administration’s Teuk Chob Khnar Po Ecotourism Community, and the Toul Porn Tali Tourism Community (Boeung Sneh) having participation from many related ministries. His Excellency Minister also gave some recommendations to the meeting as well as to the working groups of the related inter-ministries-institutions, on which include:
- Secretariat has to compromise with representatives of relevant ministries-institutions to address matters for above communities.
- Having been agreed on the holding of 2nd National Forum on Ecotourism, but ask to hold based on the spirit of meeting and practical situation in consistent with tourist safety measures in preventing COVID-19 disease.
- Secretariat needs to make reports about outcome of this meeting to be submitted to the royal government for providing instructing recommendation.
- Working groups need to take effort in holding the 6th working group meeting, maximum next 6 months to drive the addressing to communities’ matters, as put out in the 5th meeting.