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Tourism cruises mooted between China, Cambodia

Chea Vannak / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
A cruise ship at Sihanoukville. The Cambodian Ministry of Tourism wants Chinese investors to consider investing in cruises to the port from the Chinese province of Hainan. KT/Va Sonyka

Cambodia has asked Chinese investors to consider investing in a cruise tourism service between China and Cambodia, aiming to boost the travel of Chinese tourists to Cambodia and vice versa.

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Hun Dany, secretary of state of Ministry of Tourism, raised the idea among Chinese investors during a visit to Hainan province, China, earlier this week, according to a post on the Ministry of Tourism’s Facebook page.

He suggested Chinese investors weigh up the idea of a cruise tourism service from Hainan island province to Preah Sihanouk province, where cruise ships carrying tourists could dock for a short visit by passengers.

The cruise service was one of several tourism development ideas proposed by Cambodia, the post read.

This year has been labelled The Year of Tourism by the Cambodian government.

Marella Discovery arrives at the Sihanoukville Port in December. Sihanoukville News

Top Sopheak, the ministry’s spokesman, said a  cruise tourism service between China and Cambodia would be a good investment project that will promote the tourism sector in Cambodia to Chinese people.

“Cruise tourism is one of a number of tourism products that can boost the growth in foreign tourists visiting Cambodia,” Mr Sopheak said. “The proposed project is a strategy to have a maritime connection [in addition to one by air].”

The Sihanoukville deep seaport has already had cruise ships dock, carrying on board international foreign tourists from the US, Canada and EU countries, Mr Sopheak said.

Mr Sopheak said the ministry has worked with tour agencies to establish tour packages from Preah Sihanouk province to Siem Reap province.

The packages are aimed at providing options for foreign tourists to start a short cultural tour to Angkor Archaeological Park once they arrive Cambodia by cruise ships.

Figures from the Tourism Ministry show that the number of Chinese tourists top the country’s tourism market list. As of October this year, Cambodia received 5.2 million tourists from abroad, up 9.7 percent. Of that, Chinese tourists accounted for 2 million – a total of 38 percent of all tourists.

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