The Ministry of Tourism will celebrate World Tourism Day on October 3 in Siem Reap under the theme “Tourism and Rural Development”.
According to a ministry statement, World Tourism Day is usually held on September 27 worldwide but had been postponed due to COVID-19.
The statement said the capital and all provincial tourism departments should cooperate with authorities and other stakeholders to celebrate the day.
“The programme must comply with health and safety measures against COVID-19 issued by the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Tourism and other relevant authorities,” it said.
Ngouv Sengkak, director of Siem Reap provincial department of tourism, told Khmer Times yesterday that the celebration will be held at Sokhalay Angkor Hotel and will be attended by officials and more than 120 people from all over the country. The role of tourism in socio-economic development, especially in rural development, will be discussed.
“One day before the celebration, Minister of Tourism, Thong Khon, will visit Bak Phum Khnom village tourism community in Siem Reap province,” he said.
Sot Sour, president of the tourism community “Bakong, My Village”, told Khmer Times that around 500 to 700 tourists visit daily during weekend and public holidays. He said the community has been gradually improving the area since 2014, by planting more than 100 rosewood trees and 8,000 wildflowers around a lake on which tourists take boat rides.
“For the future, the community may create other programmes such as cycling, ox-cart riding, fishing, transplanting/ harvesting rice. In this way, we hope that guests will extend their stay and the income will reach the whole community,” he said.
Prime Minister Hun Sen on Sunday encouraged the development of rural tourism to promote new products, rural skills and to create jobs because the sector is currently seriously affected by the pandemic
He said that COVID-19 has changed the concept of tourism in that people are visiting more rural-based communities and ecology sites.
Prime Minister Hun Sen said as much of the world faces the challenge of people leaving the countryside for cities, causing agriculture and other local economies to suffer labour and skills shortages, rural tourism development will contribute to reduced migration and create more jobs.