Prime Minister Hun Sen attended the River Festival in Kandal province’s Takhmao city over the weekend, saying the event could be held in any province along the Mekong, Bassac or Tonle Sap rivers in the future.
Prime Minister Hun Sen attended the event on Saturday evening to officially open the fourth annual River Festival under the theme “A River of Peace, Friendship and Sustainable Tourism”.
The popular event was held in Stung Treng province last year, in Kampong Cham in 2016 and in Kratie in 2015.
Mr Hun Sen said Cambodia has many provinces along the Mekong, Tonle Sap and Bassac rivers, which benefit citizens immensely. He urged provincial authorities to take care of the rivers.
“I want to appreciate the Minister of Tourism who created this idea to attract tourists. I hope the River Festival will be celebrated every year,” he said.
“Next year, the River Festival will be celebrated in Kampong Chhnang province, which I already approved. We will see what province will host it in 2020.”
The premier said provinces along the Tonle Sap also had the right to organise the River Festival, adding that the event did not have to be held in the provincial capital.
“In order to become the host of the River Festival in 2020 or 2021, each province has to make itself more beautiful to attract more tourism, which is a very important point,” he said.
Tourism Minister Thong Khon, who was chairman of the inter-ministries commission for this year’s River Festival, said last week that more than one million people were expected to attend.
On the first day of the festival, four pickpockets were arrested and sent to the provincial police station for questioning.
On the second day, a banner for the River Festival fell on a motorist and lightly injured the rider, according to a National Police report.
Eav Chamroeun, police chief of Kandal province, said security during the festival so far was good but appealed to visitors to take care of themselves.
“Our forces are maintaining security for the people during this event. We have also distributed a leaflet that contains a hotline number to call if they have any problems,” he said.