New Minister Unveils Tourism Strategy

New Tourism Minister Sok Soken told leaders and officials of the Tourism Ministry on Aug. 25 that the strategy is to promote national prestige and strength. Photo: Ministry of Tourism

PHNOM PENH – Five strategic pillars and three priority works as supporting elements have been established to turn Cambodia into one of the world’s leading tourism destinations with diversity, opportunities and warmth.

New Tourism Minister Sok Soken told leaders and officials of the Tourism Ministry on Aug. 25 that the strategy is to promote national prestige and strength.

One of the five pillars, or ‘5-BUILD’, is to improve the efficiency of Cambodia’s reputation management for reaching out to tourists in target markets to know the country better, to have positive views, and to further recognize Cambodia as a leading destination.

The second pillar is to improve the promotion of the country’s attractiveness to major markets to get the attention of international and priority tourists.

The third pillar is to improve the efficiency of internal affairs management and coordination related to tourists’ travel, including soft-hard infrastructure development to reduce all problems that affect their travels.

This should be done by meeting their needs through quality enhancement in line with international standards.

The fourth pillar is to improve the efficiency of the development of tourism products with innovation, creativity and Khmer identity based on cultural heritage, natural heritage, beaches and Cambodian people. 

Especially, the pillar aims at strengthening the quality of the “one service – one standard” in the tourism industry through the implementation of the Green Standard for tourism products and services at national and regional levels.

This refers to diversifying tourism products and increasing tourism corridors to meet the increasing needs of the target market and the world.

The fifth pillar is to improve the efficiency of highly competitive tourism resources and destinations by continuing to develop and diversify resources to attract tourists and investment through the creation and development of sacred tourism sites in accordance with the policy on sacred tourism. 

To support the five-pillar strategy, the minister also set out three supporting work priorities, known as 3Ds. According to Soken, the first work is the development of structure and strengthening of tourism governance, which involves organizing the National Tourism Council as well as strengthening the capital-provincial tourism destination management units by enhancing the cooperation between state private partners and that between other relevant institutions.

The second work is the development of digital revolution in tourism sector with clear planning and resources in implementing the work in accordance with the phases of digitalization and the digital revolution.

The third work is the development of human resources by mainly focusing on the training on professional skills, will, conscience, virtue and ethics for employees, employers, civil servants and other stakeholders in the tourism sector aligned with the roles and responsibilities to ensure that each employee is skilled.

The work is also to train tourism professionals in accordance with ASEAN standards and promote the welfare of tourism officials with equity.

“To sum up, the 5-BUILD and 3Ds will play a role as a new initiative in enhancing the work of the Tourism Ministry’s officials at all levels and for cooperation with relevant partners both at sub-national level, national level, and international level to improve the efficiency, equity, and work harmonization environment for facilitation between relevant ministries and institutions, and all actors involved in the tourism development,” the minister said.

According to the minister, the establishment is aligned with the “Pentagonal Strategy-Phase 1” of the Political Platform for Nation Building and Defense 2023-2028 of the 7th mandate government, as well as other important policies and strategies related to tourism sector, aiming at developing the sector with quality, activeness, competitiveness, sustainability and inclusiveness for a new future based on the “Tourism connects land and nature” basic principle.

In the first seven months of 2023, Cambodia welcomed more than three million international tourists, which is a 300-percent increase, while there were around 13 million domestic tourists, up 80 percent on the same period last year.

By the end of the year, Cambodia might have received around five million international tourists. According to Tourism Ministry's Secretary of State Tith Chantha, this number is in line with the vision in increasing the number of international tourists visiting Cambodia, which the ministry had planned to receive eight million international tourists and about 16 million domestic tourists in 2028.

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