Local aviation authorities and officials from the Chinese province of Jilin are discussing the creation of a direct flight connecting Phnom Penh and the northeastern Chinese province.
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Sin Chansereyvutha, spokesman at the State Secretariat of Civil Aviation, said Tuesday to Khmer Times that Jilin authorities proposed the establishment of a direct flight between Jilin and Cambodia.
The proposal was made during a meeting last Monday between Mao Havannall, Minister of Civil Aviation, and Zhang Anshun, the vice-provincial governor of Jilin province.
“The vice-provincial governor of Jilin proposed the creation of a direct flight to Cambodia,” Mr Chansereyvutha said. “He wants to promote tourism between the two destinations. He wants more people from Jilin to visit Cambodia and vice-versa.”
Mr Chansereyvutha said the proposed route will first be operated as a charter flight.
“A direct flight to Jilin will first have to be done through charter flights as this will take significantly less time to set up. To establish regular flights, the airlines from Jilin will have to obtain air service licenses, which takes time.”
Figures from the Ministry of Tourism show that there are181 flights per week between Cambodia and China.
So Mara, secretary of state at the Ministry of Tourism, said during an event recently that the ministry has prepared a set of strategies to attract more Chinese tourists.
“China is the biggest market for the Cambodian tourism sector. The Ministry of Tourism has drafted a series of strategies to attract more Chinese tourists. Known as the ‘China Ready’ strategy, it seeks to facilitate travel, including visa issuance, for Chinese tourists,” Mr Mara said.
Last year, Cambodia received 6.2 million international tourists, 2 million of whom were Chinese.