Thu, 02 Dec 2021

PHNOM PENH, Oct. 20 (Xinhua) -- Cambodia on Wednesday launched a Siem Reap provincial tourism development master plan 2021-2035, aiming at turning the northwestern province into a major tourist destination in the kingdom and in the Southeast Asian region.

Speaking at the launching event held via videoconference, Deputy Prime Minister Aun Pornmoniroth said the master plan was crucial to develop the tourism industry in Siem Reap in a long run.

"It will play an important role to promote the quality, safety and sustainable development of the tourism industry in the province in the post-COVID-19 pandemic era," he said.

Tourism Minister Thong Khon said the master plan prescribed seven key strategic areas for the province's tourism development.

Those included the development of major tourist sites, development of new tourism products, promotion of tourism, enhancement of the quality and sustainability of provincial tourism, environmental management, development of infrastructure, connectivity and tourism governance, he said.

Khon added that the master plan set out 43 strategies and 135 implementation actions for the short, medium and long-term, with 20 priority action projects.

"The master plan aims to transform Siem Reap province into the most popular tourist destination in Cambodia and a main tourist destination in the Southeast Asian region," he said.

According to the master plan, Siem Reap was expected to attract 7.5 million international tourists and 10.9 million domestic tourists by 2035, creating some 940,000 jobs and generating about 5.9 billion U.S. dollars in revenue.

Siem Reap is the home of the Angkor Archeological Park, a world heritage site.

Prior to the COVID-19, the 401-square-km ancient park received 2.2 million international tourists in 2019, earning a gross revenue of 99 million dollars from ticket sales.

However, due to the pandemic, the park attracted only 6,167 foreigners in the first nine months of 2021, down 98.4 percent year-on-year, the Angkor Enterprise said, adding that it earned gross revenue of 253,809 dollars from ticket sales during the January-September period this year, down 98.6 percent.

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