(Phnom Penh): Samdech Techo HUN SEN, Cambodian Prime Minister, revealed expectation that through setting out Roadmap on Cambodian Tourism Recovery and Promotion Plan in and after COVID-19 Crisis, which was already adapted by Samdech, Cambodian tourism will recover with the receiving of domestic tourists of about 11 million in 2023 and international tourists of around 7 million in 2025. It should be noted that on the last recently 30 March 2021, the Head of Cambodian Royal Government approved Roadmap on Cambodian Tourism Recovery and Promotion Plan in and after COVID-19 Crisis. With the approval of this important roadmap, Samdech Techo Prime Minister also released another special preamble letter in support of this roadmap. In this preamble letter, Samdech Techo Hun Sen stated that “the roadmap reveals a clearly vision in recovering and promoting Cambodian tourism in and after COVID-19 crisis, indicated that Cambodia will get international tourists of around 7 million by 2025 at the latest and about 11 million domestic tourists by 2023”. In this sense, Cambodia’s tourism sector is ready to recover, possibly under the U-shape for international tourists and the V-shape for domestic tourists. In the same letter, it was stated that covid-19 has caused an unprecedented crisis and immense shocked Cambodia, the regions and the world. The impact of Covid-19 has led to a 80.2% drop in international tourists to Cambodia and a 20% drop in domestic tourists, with a loss of about $ 3 billion in revenue by 2020. The Royal Government of Cambodia has issued Roadmap on Cambodian Tourism Recovery and Promotion Plan in and after COVID-19 Crisis, divided into three phases:
Referred to risk management in new normal life and planning for tourism recovery (2020 – 2021) because this crisis provides Cambodian to reconsider the system to make Cambodia’s tourism sector more resilient, efficient and sustainable for the future. At this stage, Cambodia is to work together to minimize the impact of Covid-19 infection. Separately, the Royal Government of Cambodia, in cooperation with the private sector, has set out a number of measures aimed at ensuring that businesses survive and retain employment in the tourism sector through seven rounds of government interventions, and the promotion of domestic tourism movement, accompanied by the introduction of “tourist safety measures”. At this stage, the public-private partnership plays an important role in participating in the Covid-19 infectious disease prevention campaign, especially to provide safe services as a basis for the restoration of tourism because of the increase in trust and reliability, believing in all sectors of tourism production is a key priority for tourism attraction. Trust and reliability from the beginning of the line to the end of the line from the international gate of the country where the tourist left to the international gate in Cambodia and continue to the accommodation, food, travel, leisure activities until the return to their country is warm. In this sense, all stakeholders in the tourism sector must continue to adhere to the rules of tourism safety and health, because “things will not go back to the original state, so we have to adapt to learn to live in a new state – is to maintain good hygiene and be careful, not to neglect. Meanwhile, in preparation for the rehabilitation of the tourism sector, the Royal Government has decided to invest in the public infrastructure to improve the road infrastructure at the priority tourism poles, including 34 roads in Sihanoukville and 38 roads in Siem Reap, which will bear fruitful in tourist attraction from the end of 2021 onward.
In order to recover Cambodia’s tourism sector after the Covid-19 crisis (2022-2023) and to minimize the impact of the Covid-19 crisis, the Royal Government will continue to provide vocational training in new digital tourism and skills in line with market demand after the Covid-19 crisis and efforts to promote the prestige of Cambodia as a safe tourism destination after the Covid-19 crisis. At this stage, in order to enhance the comparative advantages of Cambodian tourism in the region and globally, the Royal Government will also establish an incentive fund package to support priority projects such as new tourism products development, strengthening tourism quality, the establishment of national school of tourism vocational training at the priority tourism poles, inspiration new tourism business models with creative and innovative ideas, promoting new businesses in the tourism sector, embracing digital technology, enhancing public relations and tourism promotion, etc.
Preparation up toward to new future (2024 – 2025) of Cambodian tourism aiming at taking maximize benefits from Cambodian tourism in a sustainable and high responsible manner to be beyond the crisis of COVID-19 by seizing an opportunity of COVID-19 crisis to build up future of a sustainable, qualified and smart Cambodian tourism.