Prime Minister Hun Sen has made five general recommendations to quickly return the Kingdom’s ailing tourism sector to its former glory, while making the most of 2022, which the government recognizes as the first full year of the recovery journey.
The recommendations were made in a message dated September 19 issued by the Prime Minister on the occasion of the 42nd World Tourism Day, which is to be celebrated internationally eight days later under this year’s theme “Rethinking tourism “.
The first of these recommendations is to support the development of a diversified range of quality, safe, attractive, creative and innovative tourist products and destinations, as well as a variety of strategies to market them.
The second is to encourage – with regard to “priority” tourist attractions – joint planning and shared use of resources, and to adopt a bottom-up approach to synergize governance.
The third is to promote digitization initiatives in the tourism development process, prioritizing those that can significantly improve resilience, sustainability, quality and competitive advantage.
The fourth is to strengthen existing skills, upskill and retrain skills to build a competent tourism workforce with the ability and capacity to adapt to changing tourism trends.
The fifth is to strengthen tourism cooperation with other countries and international organizations, in bilateral and multilateral frameworks.
Hun Sen remarked that the theme of World Tourism Day 2022 truly resonates with the national, regional and global situation of the sector: hampered by a vast, complex and interconnected set of dilemmas, including Covid-19, the conflict in Ukraine , widening geopolitical divides and fragmentation. , trade and technology wars, and climate change.
These converging crises have been linked to sharp increases in inflation as well as disruptions in production and value chains across the globe, and in particular, a significant loss of regional and global economic recovery momentum, which has hampered the growth of international tourism, the Prime Minister pointed out. .
To ensure robust development of Cambodia’s tourism sector – identified as a top priority to support the economy – and ensure that it can compete with its regional and global counterparts, nothing should be left to chance in finding the best ways to boost creativity, innovation, and willingness to diversify, as well as to address other pressing issues, he suggested.
“These challenges will provide Cambodia with lessons and experiences, as well as an opportunity to rehabilitate and build a better and more crisis-resilient tourism sector, as well as serve as important inputs for development considerations and deepening reforms to the future of tourism, for the benefit of all,” he said.
The president of the Cambodian chapter of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), Thourn Sinan, told the Post on September 22 that the Kingdom’s tourism sector was still in the “early stages” of post-Covid recovery. Although foreign visitors are gradually returning to Cambodia, most come from neighboring countries, he said.
Sinan explained that tourist flows are inextricably linked to a host of factors, especially geopolitical conditions, which have warmed up in a number of regions.
Still, he expressed optimism that the Prime Minister’s recommendations would spearhead broader efforts to stage a meaningful and high-speed recovery in Cambodia’s tourism sector.