Royal Government Officially Announced to Take Effect the Implementation of Siem Reap Tourism Development Master Plan 2021 – 2035

(Phnom Penh): After being officially approved by Samdech Techo HUN SEN, Prime Minister of Cambodia, on the last 30 March 2021, on this October 20th, 2021 “Siem Reap Tourism Development Master Plan 2021 – 2035” was officially announced for use under presidency of Dr. Aun Porn Moniroth, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Economy and Finance, representing Samdech Techo Prime Minister.

On that occasion, Deputy Prime Minister Aun Porn Moniroth stressed that this master plan is an important strategic document reflecting about a long – term vision in Siem Reap tourism development and the surrounding areas as well as serving for whole Siem Reap provincial development. Minister of Tourism Thong Khon also said that, to be able to walk on vision in a sustainable tourism development and in the context of stronger tourism competition during and after Covid-19 crisis, the master plan determined the shared scope – was included both cultural tourism and natural tourism for Siem Reap province; as today, the Angkor visiting is a main reason of the tourists who come to Siem Reap province.

The master plan studied and determined strategies to increase the attractiveness of the whole Siem Reap province that have beyond the temples visiting by having to link with variety entertaining activities, but need to respect to the conservation principle, and maximize these cultural and natural advantages throughout additional strengthening the entertaining activities and events to increase the satisfaction and attractiveness for tourists leading to increasing the duration of stay as well as increasing the tourists’ expenditures and catching added values from higher tourism sector for the benefits to the people in Siem Reap and Cambodia.

Minister Thong Khon continued that Siem Reap Tourism Development Master Plan 2021 – 2035 will transform Siem Reap province to a qualified and attractive foreign tourists destination which provides variety of tourism resources with global recognition on conservation and cultural heritage and natural environmental properties protection and there are tourists come to visit again and again, being involved with local economic development contributing to poverty reduction as well as responding to climate change.

He added that the strategic aim of the master plan is to make Siem Reap province becomes a main and attractive tourist destination in the region and on the globe which is on the basis of cultural heritage, natural, historical, religious properties and Khmer identity. To ensure a sustainable and inclusive tourism development, Siem Reap province should follow the best practices from all eras, especially Angkorian era as well as the consideration on “cleanness, green and smart” in the context of modern time, and way forwards to building up digital economy.

With this, the strategic aim, to be putted by Siem Reap Tourism Development Master Plan 2021 – 2035 was of three which are filled each other: 1. High qualified tourism.2. Smart tourism.3. Balanced tourism between development and cultural and natural environmental resource conservation.Thong Khon explained that, to accomplish above objectives, the master plan is of 7 strategic goals:

1. Developing prioritized tourist destinations in Siem Reap province.

2. Newly tourism products development.

3. Promoting and attracting tourists to come to Siem Reap province.

4. Strengthening quality and sustainability in tourism development in Siem Reap province.

5. Managing environment in Siem Reap province.

6. Developing infrastructures and improving tourism supportive connectivity in Siem Reap province.

7. Strengthening governance for supporting tourism development in Siem Reap province on the basis of participatory approach.

Based on Minister Thong Khon, the master plan was compiled along with introduction, conclusion and appendix include:

• Chapter1: is the illustration about common aspect and analysis on Siem Reap tourism development alternatives, of which the Royal Government set direction in achieving scenario alternatives of qualified tourist destination (Alternative Tourism), by prediction revealed that in 2035, the international tourists will surge approximately 7.5 million, and national tourists will be up about 10.9 million, the prediction on the staying of international tourists is 5 days and half and 3 days for national tourists, income generation of about USD 5.9 million, direct jobs creation of about 940,000.

The selection of scenario of qualified tourist destination in the master plan reflected about the royal government’s determination in regarding tourism sector as green gold, contributing to socio-economic development, boosting national cultures, sustaining effectively environmental protection with clearly management on development forwards to attracting foreign tourists to come to multiple visit, especially high class – tourists in order to increase sources of national incomes and the local people.

• Chapter2: The master plan put out Siem Reap tourism development strategy, divided into 6 parts include:

– Part1: Siem Reap prioritized tourism area development strategy is divided into 6 areas include:

1. Preah Jayavarman-Norodom National Park “Phnom Kulen” is a religious, natural, adventuring, researching and scientific tourist destination.

2. Banteay Srei protected area surrounding areas are rural and agro-tourism destinations.

3. Angkor heritage site is a world heritage, cultural and religious site.

4. Siem Reap is a high-level historical heritage urban tourist destination.

5. Tonle Sap Lake area is a natural and ecotourism destination.

6. Project of creating new Siem Reap tourist destination, responsive to demographical growth, Siem Reap city urbanization, growth in accommodation service and tourism entertainment demand in serve for a medium and long – term tourist growth to avoid hard pressure in Siem Reap city development and the Angkor heritage site.

This area is to be developed with clean, smart and green environment and attractiveness for kind of high class – tourism and second home tourism.

– Part2: New tourism products development strategy is of 6 include:

1. Tourism products of culture, heritage and religion.

2. Green tourism products.

3. Rural and aggro-tourism products.

4. MICE tourism product.

5. Sport tourism products.

6. Elder tourism products – Health tourism and second home tourism.

– Part3: Promotion and tourism attractive strategy is of 2 including:

1. The attraction of major international tourist market sources and the driving domestic tourist movement to visit to Siem Reap province.

2. Tourism promotion in all pictures and means.

– Part4: Quality improving strategy and sustainability in tourism development is of 3 include:

1. Improving tourism quality, together with quality improvement on service in tourism industry, improving Siem Reap province to be as a safe and resilient tourist destination responsive to disaster and infectious diseases and crisis.

2. Human resource development in tourism.

3. Boosting local economy through tourism development.

– Part5: Strategy in managing environment is of 3 include:

1. Waste and solid waste management.

2. Boosting green areas.

3. Protecting natural ecological system.

– Part6: Infrastructural development strategy and improving the connectivity of tourism supportive sectors is of 2 include:

1. Promoting internal and international connectivity, such as strengthening land, air, and water and rail links.

2. To make better tourism supportive infrastructures include: clean water and electric infrastructural development, roads connecting tourist destinations and telecommunication service and internet services serving for tourism sector in Siem Reap province.

• Chapter3: As the setting out plan of action and tourism governance mechanism towards to ensuring the sustainability in Siem Reap provincial tourism development. The action plans of this master plan are determined tables mentioning about separate detailed implementation actions with a total of 43 strategies, a total of 135 implementing actions, to be determined time for carrying out (short, medium and long – term), in conjunction with the 20 prioritized action projects.

On governance mechanism requires to have the creation of Destination Management Organization for Siem Reap province, called “Siem Reap-Angkor Tourism Management and Development Committee”, and then the committee is to establish Sub-Destination Management Organization (Sub-MMOs) at the 6 prioritized areas, including Phnom Kulen National Park, Banteay Srei protected area surrounding areas, Angkor area, Siem Reap city area, Tonle Sap Lake area, and new Siem Reap tourism area.

For Angkor Heritage Site Tourism Management Unit is the responsibility of the APSARA Authority.In short, the Siem Reap Tourism Development Master Plan 2021 – 2035 was organized by making harmonization between all relevant sectors in conjunction with comprehensively following, inspecting, and evaluating mechanism undertaken on all tourism development actions is a significant tool, as a road-map for guiding public, private and people and development partners contributing to socio-economic development.

Thong Khon showed expectation that the master plan would contribute significantly to the implementation of the Royal Government’s Rectangular Strategy Phase 4 and National Policy on Tourism in Cambodia in making Cambodia become a globe – level qualified tourist destination providing the warmth to tourists and boosting the people’s harmony, in which, Siem Reap must be developed into a quality tourist destination that can regain its pride as the main tourist destination of Cambodia’s tourism sector and one of the main tourist destinations in Southeast Asia.

Deputy Prime Minister Aun Porn Moniroth showed firmly believe that, with the laying out and boosting the implementation of these key strategies and plans will boost Cambodian tourism sector in the nationwide framework, in particular in Siem Reap province, and be able to seize opportunities from this crisis of Covid-19. To promote the implementation of the Siem Reap Tourism Development Master Plan 2021-2035 to achieve success, efficiency and effectiveness, Deputy Prime Minister Aun Porn Moniroth made some recommendations for implementation from the end of 2021 to 2023 as follows:

1. Continue organizing institutional mechanism by having to establish Siem Reap – Angkor Tourism Development and Management Committee as soon as possible to guide the facilitation and inspection for the Siem Reap provincial tourist destination development. Then, the committee needs to form the 6 prioritized areas based – tourist destination management units include: Phnom Kulen National Park, Banteay Srei protected area surrounding areas, Angkor area, Siem Reap city area, Tonle Sap Lake area, and new Siem Reap tourism area.

2. Request all relevant parties to adhere to the spirit of ownership (Joint Think, Joint Act, Joint Responsibility) in the implementation of the plans of action of this master plan in accordance with strategic goal and rule, to be laid out – especially implementing actions in the short and medium term.

3. All together are to take part in strictly carrying out standard operating procedure, tourism safety measures, and other guidelines, both health measures and administrative measures, legal measures and educational measures, to be put out by the royal government and relevant ministries – institutions.

4. Related ministries – institutions and the provincial authorities are to join hand in strengthening the Siem Reap province’s characteristic in attracting inbound tourists and international tourists throughout:

• Pushing the completion of the project to improve 38 lines of road in Siem Reap, along with the addition of sidewalks for cars, roads for motorbikes, roads for bicycles, poles, and public lighting, including official facilities, accelerating the development of Chong Khneas Port in accordance with tourism port standards, taking into account the provision of new facilities to support new tourism services and products.

• Strengthening the management of tourist flow into Angkor site in accordance with new normal by having to organize standard operating procedure (SOP), promoting protocol and advertising newly tourism products and services within Angkor site, such as arranging green landscape in the temple areas, etc., accelerating the construction of Siem Reap Angkor International Airport to increase the capacity for air passengers to the destination of Siem Reap, encouraging the continued development efforts in Siem Reap and all priority goals to be as “smart tourism city” and “smart tourist destination” towards to promoting better quality of life and the people’s welfare and ensuring the sustainability of development in line with vision of development of the royal government as well as development goals in the ASEAN framework, both on aspects of liquid and soft infrastructures, the security and safety system, and the environmental management system.

With this, Deputy Prime Minister also called for all ministries – institutions, authorities at all levels, sub-national administrations, private sectors, the people and tourists along with all related parties are to actively take part with a high responsible spirit in carrying out successfully Siem Reap Tourism Development Master Plan 2021 – 2035 towards to contributing to the rehabilitation of the Cambodia’s tourism sector moving to seeking the prosperity of “Cambodia: The Kingdom of Wonder”.