The travel agent associations of Cambodia and Vietnam’s Ba Ria-Vung Tau province on Monday signed an agreement that aims to boost the flow of tourists between the two countries.
The Cambodia Association of Travel Agents (CATA) and Vietnam’s Ba Ria-Vung Tau Association of Travel Agents signed a memorandum of understanding in Phnom Penh on the creation of a “special joint tour package” to bolster the countries’ tourism sectors.
The proposed package will enable Cambodia and Vietnam to promote their tourist destinations in the other country, according to Chay Sivlin, president of CATA.
“The number of holidaymakers from Ba Ria-Vung Tau province in Cambodia is still relatively small but that is exactly why the deal was made,” Ms Sivlin said on Monday at the agreement-signing ceremony.
“[With the agreement] we can promote Cambodia’s tourism destinations to attract visitors from Vietnam, especially people from Ba Ria-Vung Tau province,” Ms Sivlin said.
Ba Ria-Vung Tau province, located in the south of Vietnam, is a major investment destination and a tourist hub.
In a meeting with Ba Ria-Vung Tau province officials on Monday, Phnom Penh Governor Khoung Sreng urged Vietnam to consider opening a bus route for tourists between Phnom Penh and the Vietnamese province.
“Having this bus route would be important to increase tourist arrivals. It will make travelling [between Phnom Penh and Ba Ria-Vung Tau province] more convenient,” he said.
Nguyen Hong Linh, Secretary of Ba Ria-Vung Tau’s Party Committee and chairman of the provincial People’s Council, said the province welcomes thousands of Cambodian visitors and cargo trucks transiting through the Cai Mep Port each month.
According to the latest report from the Ministry of Tourism, from January to August Cambodia welcomed 559,185 Vietnamese tourists, an increase of 6.3 percent compared with the same period last year.
During those eight months, Vietnam was the second biggest tourism market for Cambodia, following China.
The ministry aims to attract about one million Vietnamese tourists a year by 2020.
Cambodia Angkor Air, the national flag carrier, recently launched direct flights between Phnom Penh and Da Nang, in central Vietnam.