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Ministries pray to attract more religious tourism

Sen David / Khmer Times Share:
Pagodas are to play a vital role in the plan to attract more tourists. KT/Mai Vireak

The Tourism Ministry last week announced it will work with the Cults and Religion Ministry to promote religious tourism in the country.

The announcement was made after ministry officials held a meeting at the Tourism Ministry in Phnom Penh.

Tith Chantha, a Tourism Ministry secretary of state, on Wednesday said each ministry has been tasked with conducting their own feasibility studies to be submitted by the end of the year.

Mr Chantha said that pagodas around the country are expected to take part in luring tourists in order to boost the country’s religion and tourism industries.

“We are preparing and selecting pagodas with history to attract the tourists,” he said. “We could begin the process next year, and it will promote both religion and tourism.”

Mr Chantha said the goal is to prolong tourist visits and at the same time expand education and awareness of Buddhism in Cambodia.

“We will train student or monks to be tour guides for tourists to know more,” he said.

In May, the ministries met to prepare ten pagodas in Battambang province as a pilot project.

Religion Ministry spokesman Seng Somony said at the time that the promotion of religion will directly influence the way tourists see Cambodia.

“Pagodas will show tourists history, but Buddha will make them understand religion,” Mr Somony said.

The Tourism Ministry said in a report that in the first six months of 2018, the number of foreign tourists has risen by nearly 13 percent when compared to the same period in the previous year.

Three million people have visited the Kingdom in the first half of the year, most of which were from China.

There have been a total of 932,000 Chinese visitors, the ministry said.

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