Partnership with Yunnan to boost tourism

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Tourism Minister Thong Khon (left) during the MoU signing ceremony.

Cambodia and tourism authorities in the Chinese province of Yunnan pledged earlier this week to work together to boost Cambodia’s appeal as a tourism destination, particularly through the development of its human capital and new tourism products.

The commitment was made during a meeting on Monday between Thong Khon, Minister of Tourism, Wen Shuqiong, vice-president of the Yunnan Development Tourism Committee (YDTM), and Zhang Jinglong, director of Yunnan’s Vocational Institute for Tourism.

Representatives from a number of firms in the tourism sector also attended the meeting, which was held in Kunming, Yunnan’s capital city.

“The talk focused on boosting cooperation on the creation of new tourism products in the main tourist destinations and the development of human resources based on the strategy ‘one person one skill’. The Chinese side pledged to provide human resource training,” a press release from the Ministry of Tourism (MoT) said.

“Both sides committed to work together to promote sustainable and responsible tourism development in Siem Reap, Phnom Penh and coastal areas through mutual cooperation on human resource training. They will benefit from the support of Yunnan’s investors in the development of tourism products.”

Some Chinese investors expressed their support and readiness to invest in tourism projects in Siem Reap, Phnom Penh and Koh Kong, among other destinations, according to the ministry.

The MoT signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Yunnan Vocational Institute of Tourism, agreeing to work together to develop Cambodia’s human resources in tourism.

Thourn Sinan, chairman of the Cambodia Chapter of the Pacific Asia Travel Association, said the commitments made were in line with the government’s goal to attract 2 million Chinese tourists by 2020.

“To attract Chinese tourists, we need to equip our workforce with Chinese language skills and we need to up their abilities in other areas as well,” he said.

Last year, Cambodia received 5.6 million international tourists, 11.6 percent more than in 2016. That year, 1.2 million Chinese tourists visited the kingdom, an increase of 46 percent year-on-year.

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