The government has set up a joint development package at four eco-tourism destinations in the Kingdom to boost the number of domestic visitors, according to a senior official of the Ministry of Tourism.
The four destinations in the Kingdom which are now famous for natural attractions are Roleak Kang Cheurng (Phnom Khnong Phsar) in Oral, Kampong Speu province, Phat Sanday – a fishing community in Kampong Svay, Kampong Thom province – Teuk Chop Khnarpor community-ecotourism in Siem Reap province and Boeng Sne tourist site in Prey Veng province.
Tourism experts say these community-based ecotourism sites have potential and are attracting a lot of visitors. Therefore, it requires relevant stakeholders, especially interrelated institutions, and the ministry to support them.
During the fifth inter-institutional meeting on the management and development of community-based ecotourism on Wednesday, Minister of Tourism and Chair of the inter-institution to manage and development of community-based ecotourism Thong Khon said these four community-based ecotourism resorts are new and have just been put into an action plan with new services that demand more development to the community from the Ministry of Tourism and relevant ministries.
Khon as well as the members in the meeting said the challenges the communities are facing include lack of infrastructure to connect to the community, environment issues, hygiene and waste, lack of clean water and electricity, low mobile phone networks and no properly trained guides as well as weak promotion.
“With these constraints, the ministry of tourism has called on the inter-ministry and inter-institutions to prepare a joint-development package to support the community to achieve the transformation of community-based ecotourism advancement and development that is sustainable, innovative and responsible,” he added.
Khon added that the Ministry will continue to study and find new priorities and potential community-based ecotourism sites to develop those communities.
The meeting heard that although COVID-19 is a barrier, it is also an opportunity to push domestic tourists to visit sites and it contributes to reducing the impact of the pandemic.
In this context, the domestic tourists’ motives are seeking adventure travel, community-based tourism and other attractions. Khon added that including more tourism activities and ecotourism, will benefit the community by creating paid jobs and the development of the communities.
The tourism minister has recommended stakeholders as well as the inter-ministry group and relevant institutions to solve the issues facing the four communities and agreed to arrange a second national ecotourism forum based on the actual situation and teach safety measures to prevent COVID-19 from spreading.
Cambodia recorded more than 1 million tourists over the three-day holiday period of Pchum Ben festival in September, according to a report by the Ministry of Tourism.
The number of people visiting tourist destinations across the country rose to 1.112.403 million and, of these, there were about 1,105,611 Cambodian nationals and approximately 6,792 people from overseas living in the country. The report also stated that Battambang province witnessed the highest number of tourist arrivals with about 134,440 people, followed by Siem Reap and Kampot provinces.
This article was first published in Khmer Times. All contents and images are copyright to their respective owners and sources.