The China-Asean Centre has pledged to promote Cambodia as a tourism destination in the Chinese market, according to the Ministry of Tourism.
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In a meeting on Friday with Tourism Minister Thong Khon, Chen Dehai, secretary general of the China-Asean Centre, praised the strong ties between the Cambodian and the Chinese governments, according to a ministry press release.
Mr Dehai said Cambodia continues to enjoy robust economic growth driven mostly by the tourism sector as well as foreign direct investment.
“The centre will continue to work with the Ministry of Tourism to promote Cambodia’s tourism offer, especially at events of the Asean Centres,” he said according to the press release.
The China-Asean Centre will produce promotional materials, organise tours to Cambodia, and help upskill the local workforce. It will also teach Chinese to local tour guides and operators, according to the statement.
Minister Khon said that with the help of the centre Cambodia will be able to attract more Chinese tourists and investment.
Earlier this month, the Cambodia Association of Travel Agents (CATA) and the tourism promotion department in the Chinese province of Gansu agreed to enhance cooperation in the tourism sector, including encouraging more Cambodians to visit the Chinese province.
According to the Ministry of Tourism, Cambodia saw a 9.7 percent increase in foreign tourist arrivals during the first quarter of the year, welcoming about $1.8 million tourists.
China tops the country’s tourism market with 683,436 visitors during the first three months of the year, a 35.1 percent quarter-on-quarter hike.
China is followed by Vietnam (186,863 visitors), Laos (121,489), Thailand (97,942), and South Korea (95,719).
Last year, Cambodia received 6.2 million tourists, with the tourism sector earning $4.3 billion. This year, Cambodia expects to welcome 6.7 million tourists, while it expects to receive seven million by 2020.