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Tourism to drive Cambodia’s growth

PHNOM PENH, 28 September 2012: Cambodia’s Ministry of Tourism says tourist arrivals to the country should more than double by 2020 bringing revenue to the country that will improve the economy and the standard of living for communities.

The ministry expect around 7 million international tourists to travel to Cambodia annually by 2020.

Prime Minister Hun Sen said the ambitious tourist arrival target would bring US$5 billion in revenue each year.

“Tourism contributes an important part by creating jobs, increasing people’ income, boosting the country economic growth as well as generating more income for the nation.”

To reach the target, Ministry of Tourism suggested the nation should build human resources in tourism as well as improve facilities and the aviation sector.

Ministry objectives:

• Create 500,000 to 700,000 new jobs over the next eight years;

• Launch a feasibility study for a national tourism training institute to pre-empt an impending shortfall in tour guides and hospitality staff;

• Increase infrastructure spending;

• Add hotel rooms to meet tourist demand from 20,000 rooms to 30,000 and later to 50,000 rooms;

• Add air services to the country;

• Build an international airport capable of serving 10 million passengers a year;

• Expedite plans for international flights to and from Preah Sihanouk Airport;

• Upgrade efficiency of airports in Preah Vihear, Battambang, Kratie; and Ratannakiri to meet an anticipated growth in tourism to these provinces.

The ministry said international tourist arrivals to the country have risen dramatically over the past decade in line with Cambodia’s economic growth.

This year, the ministry estimates the country will attract 3.2 million tourists by year end. In 2011, there were 2.8 million tourist arrivals increasing from 1.7 million in 2006 and 600,000 in 2001.

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