The flow of tourists between Cambodia and Turkey is expected to rise in upcoming years following the signing of a deal earlier this week in which the countries agreed to boost tourism cooperation.
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The agreement was signed on Monday in the Turkish capital of Ankara by Cambodian Tourism Minister Thong Khon and his counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu, in a ceremony presided over by Cambodia Primer Minister Hun Sen.
The deal focuses on tightening cooperation between the nations, mostly through the exchange of information regarding their tourism markets. It is hoped that the agreement will eventually lead to the establishment of the first direct flight between the countries.
While a direct flight has been on the table for several years now, there is already a direct cargo service between the countries.
Top Sopheak, spokesman at the Cambodian Ministry of Tourism, said the countries’ renewed commitment to cooperation in the tourism sector is sure to bolster tourist numbers in the near future.
“Our diplomatic relation with Ankara is improving notably. If, on top of that we get a direct flight, then the number of tourists travelling between the two nations will skyrocket,” he said.
Mr Sopheak said Cambodia is now ready to welcome tourists from Muslim-majority countries, such as Turkey, with the Ministry of Commerce issuing its own halal certificate this year.
The ministry has already granted halal certificates to nine local businesses that manufacture their products following halal standards, he said, adding that having a halal label lures more Muslim tourists to the Kingdom and increases the country’s exports.
Cambodia also recently announced that it plans to open an embassy in Ankara next year to facilitate diplomatic services, trade, and the movement of people.