The Cambodian government has asked UNESCO to recognize Battambang, Kratie and Kampot as world heritage cities as part of efforts to preserve traditional Khmer and French-colonial architecture.
Tourism Minister Thong Khon said the application will be discussed by member states in June at the Asia Cooperation Dialogue Ministerial Summit on Tourism in Siem Reap province.
Mr Khon said Cambodia wants the sites to be listed because they feature large numbers of historical buildings, adding there are 800 French-style buildings and houses in Battambang alone.
UNESCO is supporting us to list the sites as world heritage cities, so we are preparing the application,” Mr Khon said. “Listing the sites will help develop them into new tourist destinations.”