A panel of judges has selected the six cleanest cities in the country, which will go on to compete against other Asean cities in a ceremony that will be held in Brunei next year.
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Phnom Penh’s Daun Penh district, Kampot city, Kampong Cham city, Pursat city, Takhmao city, and Kampong Chhnang city have come out on top at this year’s National Clean City Competition, Minister Thong Khon announced yesterday.
The six cities will compete for regional honours at the Asean Clean City Competition, whose winners will be announced in a ceremony in Brunei in January next year, Minister Khon said at the seventh National Clean City Day celebrated yesterday at Sokha Phnom Penh Hotel.
Soy Sinol, director of Kampot’s tourism department, said a strategy has been set up to prepare the city for the regional contest.
“The provincial administration and the tourism department set up a strategy to clean and beautify the city to meet the criteria to enter the Asean Clean City Competition.
“The competition does not just consider cleanliness and greenery but also looks at public safety.”
He pointed out that Kampot received three romdul flowers, the biggest prize, at last year’s National Clean City Competition.
“At the national level, the contest had 70 different criteria and our city met all of them. However, at Asean level there are 108 criteria, so we set a strategy to make sure our city is ready.”
In 2018, Kampot province received about 1.6 million tourists, 10 percent of which were foreign nationals, according to Mr Sinol.
Thourn Sinan, chairman of the Cambodia Chapter of the Pacific Asia Travel Association, said the winners will have to undergo a significant transformation to be ready for the Asean event.
“A lot of other cities could have been chosen for the competition, including Siem Reap, Battambang, and Mondulkiri.
“The reason these winners were chosen is that the government wants these cities to become more clean and beautiful,” he said.
“I believe this is a good strategy from the government to improve cleanliness standards in cities like Kampong Chhnang and Takhmao, which are not particularly famous in the tourism sector.
“The government’s intention is to show the world that Cambodia has plenty of cities with great tourism potential,” he added.
Cambodia also entered six cities at last year’s Asean Clean City Competition – Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Kampot, Kep, Sihanoukville, Battambang, and Kampong Cham.
Three of them – Battambang, Kep and Siem Reap – received the ‘Asean clean tourism award’ at an event held in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
The distinction placed the Cambodian cities in an exclusive 23-member group of the cleanest cities in the Asean region, and was proof that they adhere to Asean’s standards for city cleanliness.