Sign up | Log in



Home  >>  Daily News  >>  ASEAN ANALYSIS


                                                                                                                           Asean Affairs November 26, 2013  

ASEAN and the Rise of Tourism in Cambodia

In this interview, Cambodia's Minister of Tourism, Thong Khon, says that enhanced cooperation with ASEAN, aviation liberalization and membership of 'The Most Beautiful Bays in the World Club' will further boost the country's already fast-growing tourism industry

Cambodia's Minister of Tourism, Thong Khon

What synergies between Cambodia and ASEAN hold the most potential for Cambodia?
I would like to reaffirm that we are pleased to push forwards towards ASEAN economic integration and development. In tourism there will be 'one billion tourists, one billion opportunities' by 2015.

How supportive is Cambodia of the Common Smart Visa Scheme within ASEAN?
Cambodia is strongly supportive of the Common Smart Visa Scheme within ASEAN. This initiative was built on the single visa program for tourists travelling between Cambodia and Thailand, which was implemented on January 1, 2013. The Scheme should also benefit non-ASEAN nationals visiting the region.

Is the estimate of around four million international visitor arrivals to Cambodia in line with predictions for 2013?
Cambodia is peaceful with security and safety. Accordingly, in the first nine months of 2013, Cambodia received 3.5 million international tourists, a growth rate of 18.6% over 2012. We expect around 4.2 million international visitor arrivals this year. We forecast that the total number of international tourist arrivals will reach five million by 2015, and 7.5 million by 2020. We are satisfied with these numbers.

What opportunities could Cambodia tourism could capitalize on more?
Domestic tourism. In 2012, Cambodia received about 3.5 million international tourists (a growth rate of 25%, over 2011). There were approximately eight million domestic tourists, a sector growing at 3%, bringing about US$2 billion revenue into the Cambodian economy and creating approximately 350,000 direct jobs. According to forecasts, by 2020, Cambodian tourism will generate approximately US$5 billion revenue, and create 800,000 direct jobs. Cambodian tourism is considered as 'Green Gold', a priority sector, contributing to socio-economic development and poverty reduction.

How important are ASEAN initiatives to the future of Cambodia's tourism?
In the spirit of the ASEAN Economic Community 2015, ASEAN member states endorsed the Mutual Recognition Arrangement on Tourism Professionals (MRA), which facilitates the mobility of tourism professionals in the region. It aims to share best practices among ASEAN member states for 32 job titles, including: Front Office, Housekeeping, Food and Beverage Services, Food Production, Travel Agencies, Tour Operations, Hotel and Travel Services. Both Cambodia and other ASEAN member states will seize this opportunity.

In development: new aviation links from Angkor to the coast

What are your priorities for infrastructure development in the tourism sector?
Cambodian tourism still faces certain challenges such as hard and soft infrastructure. The priorities for Cambodian tourism development include: 1. Tourism product development 2. Marketing and promotion 3. Connectivity and facilitation in travel and transportation 4. Tourism safety systems and impact management 5. Legal systems and managerial mechanisms 6. Human resource management.

What aviation developments would you like to see more of for Cambodia?
We would like to see more national and international flights connecting Cambodia and the region as well as the world, in addition to Siem Reap-Preah Sihanouk connectivity of local flights. We will conduct a study about airfares and service quality to determine air transport competitiveness. We encourage the reduction of landing and parking taxes, airport taxes, and other services. We also want to see more direct flights from ASEAN countries such as the Philippines, Indonesia, Brunei, and big cities in China, Japan, India, Russia and Europe (such as Germany and UK). Particularly, we are pushing for more low cost carriers to connect Cambodia and the region.

What steps are the Government taking to promote Cambodia -- and not just Angkor Wat?
We are promoting antique temples, pagodas, ancient architectural buildings, court dances, Sbeik Thom drama, Khmer ancient battle heritage and traditions. They are vital to develop our tourism industry. For ecotourism we have a wide variety of natural resources in the northeast, Tonle Sap Lake, Tonle Mekong region, the Cardamom Mountains and the Bay of Cambodia, which is now a member of the World's Most Beautiful Bays Club.

What do you feel about the opportunities and challenges for tourism in Cambodia presented by the ASEAN Economic Community?
When the ASEAN Economic Community is established by 2015, ASEAN will become a single market and production base, a highly competitive economic region, a place of equitable economic development, a region fully integrated into the global economy. There will be free movement of goods, services, investment and skilled labor. There will be opportunities to further integrate Cambodia into the region and the world.

What new tourism marketing campaigns will Cambodia be announcing soon?
The Ministry of Tourism will continue promoting "Cambodia: Kingdom of Wonder" and "Clean City, Clean Resort, Good Service." We will finalize marketing plans for attracting Chinese tourists, pushing for further direct flights from the region, and facilitating travel across borders.

Importantly, we are now linking the Siem Reap / Angkor areas with the coast. In order to promote Cambodia Bay, we are now a member of the Most Beautiful Bays in the World Club. We are going to host the 9th General Assembly of the Most Beautiful Bays in the World Club. It will take place 5-8 December 2013, in conjunction with the 2013 Sea Festival. This invaluable event aims at bringing key players and other relevant stakeholders in tourism together to network, collaborate and share their experiences, best practices and technological innovations.

I would like to invite visitors and investors from the ASEAN region, and the rest of the world, to come to visit and invest in Cambodia: Kingdom of Wonder.

Reach Southeast Asia!
10- Nations, 560- Million Consumers
And $1 -Trillion Market
We are the Voice of Southeast Asia Media Kit
The only Media Dedicated to Southeast Asia Advertising Rates for Magazine
Online Ad Rates

Comment on this Article. Send them to

Letters that do not contain full contact information cannot be published.
Letters become the property of AseanAffairs and may be republished in any format.
They typically run 150 words or less and may be edited
submit your comment in the box below

Today's  Stories   26 November 2013 Subsribe Now !
• Thai PM extends olive branch to anti-govt protesters Subcribe: Asean Affairs Global Magazine
• Anti-govt protesters marching to 13 sites across Bangkok Asean Affairs Premium
• Thai anti-government protesters occupy finance ministry
Research Reports
on Thailand 2007-2008

• Textiles and Garments Industry
• Coffee industry
• Leather and footwear industry
• Shrimp industry

• Vietnam welcomes investors from India
• Philippine gov’t declares coastlines no-build zones
Asean Analysis          26 November  2013 Advertise Your Brand
• Asean Analysis-November 26, 2013
ASEAN and the Rise of Tourism in Cambodia
Asean Stock Watch     25  November  2013
• The Biweekly Update  November 15, 2013 • Asean Stock Watch-November 25, 2013

ASEAN NEWS UPDATES      Updated: 04 January 2011

 • Women Shariah scholars see gender gap closing
• Bank Indonesia may hold key rate as inflation hits 7 percent
• Bursa Malaysia to revamp business rules
• Private property prices hit new high in Singapore • Bangkok moves on mass transport
• Thai retailers are upbeat
• Rice exports likely to decline • Vietnamese PM projects 10-year socioeconomic plan


This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More






1.  Verifier

1. Verifier

For security purposes, we ask that you enter the security code that is shown in the graphic. Please enter the code exactly as it is shown in the graphic.
Your Code
Enter Code

Home | About Us | Contact Us | Special Feature | Features | News | Magazine | Events | TV | Press Release | Advertise With us

Our Products | Work with us | Terms of Use | Site Map | Privacy Policy | Refund Policy | Shipping/Delivery Policy | DISCLAIMER |

Version 5.0
Copyright © 2007-2015 TIME INTERNATIONAL MANAGEMENT ENTERPRISES CO., LTD. All rights reserved.
Bangkok, Thailand