The Tourism Ministry has unveiled a competition intended to help increase the number of Chinese tourists visiting the country to two million by 2020.
The First China Ready Contest will give Chinese visitors the chance to evaluate tourism services such as restaurants, hotels, transport providers, tour agents, souvenir shops and malls, to see which provides the best hospitality to tourists from China.
“The ministry created the contest to find and encourage outstanding tourism operators in providing services for Chinese tourists, as well as to urge tourism operators who have not yet applied for China Ready Accreditation to do so,” an official statement said.
The deadline for contestants to enter the first stage of the competition will be September 2.
The China Ready Centre will then produce evaluation questionnaires for each of the contestants.
From September 11 to October 10, contestants will be evaluated by their customers, with the top 10 winners to be announced at the Second China Ready Forum, from October 30-31.
Last June, the Tourism Ministry established the China Ready Centre to cater to the roughly two million Chinese tourists expected to visit the country annually by 2020, as well as to improve the skills of local tourist operators working with Chinese clients.
Ho Vandy, secretary-general of the National Tourism Alliance, welcomed the announcement of the contest, saying it would help the tourism sector to attract more Chinese tourists, as well as informing visitors of the best services to use.
“It is good that it will evaluate all kinds of services. The Tourism Ministry cannot change the sector alone, they need participation from providers to improve hospitality in the country,” he said.
Last year, 900,000 Chinese tourists visited Cambodia, which marked a 20 percent increase compared with 2015.
The country had five million international tourist arrivals in 2016 and Chinese nationals were ranked second, after arrivals from Europe and other Western nations.
Tourism Minister Thong Khon said earlier this year that the country can expect seven million tourists by 2020, of which two million will be from China.
Early last year, the Tourism Ministry released a white paper titled “China Ready for Cambodia Tourism” outlining a five-year strategy for attracting Chinese tourists to the country.