The Tourism Ministry hosted a contest to see which was the best countdown city during New Year’s Eve to promote provinces as tourist destinations.
The contest was held from Tuesday to yesterday and the winner is slated to be announced today.
Ministry spokesman Top Sopheak said the National Committee for Clean City Assessment on Tuesday held the contest to motivate provincial authorities to make more efforts to organise new year countdowns.
Mr Sopheak said the contest was to motivate provincial authorities.
“This contest was aimed at showcasing development in each province and urging provincial authorities to work harder in their provinces so that people are happy,” he added. “I see that each province tried hard to be a winner.”
Mr Sopheak said that the award will be given based on decorations, design, hygiene, environment, safety, security, festivities and number of crowd.
People, including national and international tourists, could vote for the best city through the Ministry of Tourism’s facebook.
“Our main purpose is to promote each province to become a tourist destination,” he said. “We want provincial authorities to know how to attract tourists.”
The ministry said that 1.4 million people ushered in the new decade with fireworks and celebrations without incident in the Kingdom.
Tourism Minister Thong Khon yesterday said that thousands of local and foreign visitors visited coastal provinces and Siem Reap to celebrate new year’s events.
“According to a preliminary report I received, local and international tourists flocked to coastal provinces because they had organised special events,” he said. “Siem Reap was also an attractive place.”
Mr Khon said three main factors drove Cambodians to celebrate new year events.
“Peace and stability, increasing livelihood standards and well-organised events are the main factors that make a lot of people celebrate New Year’s,” he noted.
In Phnom Penh, 362,000 people ushered in the new year’s in the capital, attending events at venues such as Koh Pich, and the garden in front of the Royal Palace.
In Siem Reap province, about 300,000 people ushered in the New Year in Siem Reap city.
Ngov Seng Kak, provincial tourism department director, yesterday said that 296,322 people attended events compared with 284,031 who visited the city last year.
“We are happy that we are selected to join the contest,” Mr Seng Hak said, noting that concerts and a fireworks display were held.
He hoped that his province will win the contest.
Despite a drop in the number of visitors to the capital and Preah Sihanouk province, Kampot and Koh Kong provinces registered increases.
The ministry reported 120,000 visitors celebrated the new year in Kampot city, where many concerts and an exhibition were held.
In Koh Kong province, the number of visitors rose to 31,054 from 22,610 in 2018, a 41 percent increase.
However, in Preah Sihanouk province the number went down from about 40,000 in 2018 to 35,000 visitors because Provincial Hall did not organise special events.