The government has announced the establishment of an inter-ministerial committee to organise the upcoming River Festival, which will be held next month in Kandal province and is expected to attract 1.5 million visitors.
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Held under the theme “peace of friendship and sustainable tourism”, this year’s River festival, the fourth edition of the event, will take place March 9-11.
Thong Khon, the Minister of Tourism, said during a meeting with Kandal authorities yesterday that they are setting up an inter-ministerial committee for the preparation of the festival, which will be composed of four sub-committees, each addressing the organisation of one of the following aspects of the festival: performing arts, the exhibition fair, sporting events, and security and order.
“With a clear policy, the festival will help us promote our tourism potential,” Mr Khon said.
“It is a key event in the campaign to promote Asean tourist sites. It is in line with the goals of the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation, the Greater Mekong Subregion, and the Mekong-Ganga Cooperation. It highlights the economic and cultural potential along the Mekong River.”
Thoun Sinan, chairman of the local chapter of the Pacific Asia Travel Association, told Khmer Times that the event will help boost business activity in the area, while providing a venue to showcase the country’s cultural and culinary traditions.
Mr Sinan said, however, that more work needs to be done to lure foreigners.
“I don’t see many foreigners attending previous editions. This is because we didn’t really advertise the event enough, and also we didn’t set up the necessary bus connections to facilitate travel to the area.”
Last year, the event was held in Steung Treng province with a focus on eco-tourism initiatives.