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Cambodia unveils strategy to attract Chinese

Updated: 2013-06-19 14:57
( Xinhua)

PHNOM PENH - Cambodia's Ministry of Tourism on Wednesday finalized its 5-year strategic plan to attract at least 1.3 million Chinese visitors by 2018.

Speaking at a seminar on Cambodia tourism marketing strategy targeting China, So Visothy, director of the Tourism Ministry's Marketing and Promotion Department, said that currently China is the third largest tourist arrival group to Cambodia.

The country greeted 333,890 Chinese visitors in 2012, up 35 percent year-on-year, and during the first four months of this year, some 174,150 Chinese visited Cambodia, up 55 percent compared with the same period last year.

"We see China as a huge market for Cambodian tourism," he said. "Under the strategy, we target 600,000 Chinese tourists in 2015 and 1.3 million in 2018."

To reach the goal, Cambodia would continue broadening promotion of Cambodian tourism destinations to China and encouraging more direct flight connection between the two countries, he said.

According to the strategic plan, the country would prepare entry-exit application forms and announcements at airports in Chinese language, write signs on main roads in Chinese language, study to establish China Town and train more Chinese speaking tour guides.  

Tourism Minister Thong Khon said at the seminar that it was important to encourage owners of hotels, restaurants and tourism resorts to use three languages--Khmer, English and Chinese--on billboards, or promotional leaflets or brochures.

"Chinese are rich now, more and more Chinese visit abroad," he said. "Cambodia and China have had very good diplomatic tie. With this good tie, it will be easy for us to attract more Chinese to Cambodia."

At the seminar, there was also a presentation about trends and hobbies of Chinese tourists by Dr. Li Chuangxin, representative of ASEAN-China Center and professor of International Tourism Research Institute of China Tourism Academy.  

Tourism is one of the major sectors supporting Cambodian economy. Last year, the country received 3.58 million foreign tourists, up 24 percent year-on-year, and generated total revenue of about $2.2 billion, or 12 percent of the GDP, said the ministry of tourism.

The country is the destination for ecological and cultural tourism, and it is well-known for its 12th century Angkor Wat Temple, a world heritage site, and the 11th century Preah Vihear Temple, another world heritage site.

Besides, it has a pristine coastline stretching in the length of 450 kilometers in four provinces of Koh Kong, Preah Sihanouk, Kampot and Kep. The coastline was recognized as one of the World's Most Beautiful Bays in May, 2011.