Vietnam, Cambodia should strengthen tourism

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Cambodian Foreign Minister Prak Sokhonn (R, front) shakes hands with Vietnamese Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh (L, front) during the signing of agreed minutes of their meeting on March 15, 2017 in Phnom Penh.
Photo: Xinhua/Sovannara

Vietnam-Cambodia tourism cooperation has made significant achievements, bringing important socio-economic benefits to each country. The Vietnamese Embassy in Phnom Penh writes that it is high time that Hanoi and Phnom Penh boost this cooperation and push it to a higher level.

In recent years, Vietnam and Cambodia’s tourism industry have become areas attracting a lot of investment and human resources. This, in turn, has contributed to the economic sectors of both countries.

For Cambodia, tourism has brought a significant profit to the country, which contributes more than 10 per cent to the national income. According to the Cambodian Ministry of Tourism, from January to September 2018, Cambodia welcomed 4.3 million visitors, a rise of 11.8 per cent compared with the same period last year.

Meanwhile, Vietnamese social income from the sector has increased by 25 per cent per year, contributing to improved changes in urban and rural areas.

Vietnam’s tourism industry has continued to witness impressive growth in 2018 with the arrival of more than 15 million foreign tourists. Total revenue from tourist services is expected to reach more than VND 600 trillion (about $26.3 billion).

Along with the rapid development in tourism, Vietnam and Cambodia have adopted strategies, combining internal forces with international links to promote the roles and benefits of a smoke-free industry.

The trend of integration and development of Vietnam and Cambodia has created favourable conditions for both countries to open their doors and enhance the exchange of tourists between the two sides. In fact, Vietnam-Cambodia tourism cooperation has made significant achievements, bringing important socio-economic benefits to each country.

The number of Cambodian tourists to Vietnam and vice versa sees a continuous increase, thanks to road travel. In addition, the two countries are interested to cooperate with each other to promote national tourism, tourism products, as well as create favourable conditions to expand tourism exchanges and development.

The question now is: Should Hanoi and Phnom Penh boost cooperation in tourism to push it to a higher level?

There are three reasons why this should happen.

Firstly, Phnom Penh and Hanoi are neighbouring countries with a long-standing historical relationship and strong people-to-people ties. Moreover, cultural, social and ethnic similarities are also a crucial foundation for the two countries to expand cooperation in many fields, including tourism cooperation. Most importantly, the geographical proximity between both countries has laid the foundation for bilateral cooperation in tourism, with the ease of travel.

Secondly, Cambodia and Vietnam are known as countries with many attractive natural and cultural heritage, with both having Unesco cultural heritage sites. Cambodia, with a history of more than two thousand years, is famous for its beautiful and world-admired Angkor temples. Currently, there are about 60 cultural and historical sites along with more than 1,000 temples, 16 historical monuments, 41 artificial tourist sites and hundreds of state-recognized temples in Siem Reap, Cambodia. They are really precious as national heritage possessions.

Vietnam, on the other hand, has world-class cultural heritages such as the Hue Citadel, Hoi An Ancient Town, and My Son Sanctuary. Also, Vietnam has unique natural areas like Ha Long Bay which has been voted as one of the seven new natural wonders of the world. The available tourism potentials and geographical proximity of the two countries create great opportunities for the promotion of bilateral tourism cooperation.

Read the full article at Khmer Times:

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