The Tourism Minister has asked the governor of China’s coastal province Shandong for guidance in drafting a master plan to develop the tourism sector in coastal areas.
Thong Khon, the Minister of Tourism, and Ji Xiangqi, the vice-governor of China’s Shandong province – who is now in Cambodia on an official visit – met yesterday in Phnom Penh to discuss cooperation on education and training.
“We regard China as an important tourism market and we are currently preparing a national strategy to increase the number of Chinese tourists, which will included facilitating visas for Chinese tourists, street signs in Chinese and Chinese language courses for hospitality employees,” he said.
“By 2020, about 200 million Chinese will be travelling abroad. Now every country is preparing to attract these visitors, including Cambodia.”
To maximise the number of Chinese tourists the country welcomes and to make sure they have the best possible experience, Cambodia needs a clear strategy to help guide the development of infrastructure, human resources and services in the tourism sector, Mr Khon said.
But some Cambodian provinces are lacking a blueprint to guide development in the sector, he added.
“We are asking Mr Ji, from Shandong province, to help us develop a master plan to guide the development of tourism in our coastal areas, because Shandong province has had great success in planning, managing and developing its tourism sector,” he said.
The Chinese delegation said it was happy to receive the proposal and said it will submit the request to the central government.
During the first nine months of 2017, Cambodia welcomed 3.5 million international tourists, a 12 percent increase year-on-year.
During that period, the coastal areas received nearly 550,000 foreign visitors, 15.7 percent more than in 2016.