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Mondulkiri Predicted to Attract Close to 1 Million International Tourists by 2035

MONDULKIRI: The Director of the Department of Tourism Product Development, Chuk Chumno, has said that the future vision for Mondulkiri includes the government transforming the province into a new major tourist destination, which is expected to attract about 900,000 international tourists, and more than two million domestic tourists per year.

Speaking at the launch of the Master Plan for Mondulkiri Tourism Development, Chuk Chumno said that the inclusion of Mondulkiri as an international eco-tourism province will make the province a fourth economic pole after Phnom Penh, the coastal areas, and Siem Reap, and integrates Mondulkiri as a key location along with other parts of the country and the region.

He added that in order for the province to become a new leading tourist destination, six strategic directions will be divided into 121 activities and 16 priority projects, and 28 relevant ministries and institutions will be responsible for the implementation.

These six strategic directions allow only the investment and development of environmentally conscious tourism activities in the five wildlife sanctuaries, encouraging the development of ecotourism and ecotourism activities linked to indigenous cultures and urban planning. This includes setting up Sen Monorom as the multi-purpose tourism group connecting Ou Reang district with the development of Mondulkiri Airport, which can be developed as a satellite area connected to Sen Monorom city.

The urban area of Kaoh Nheaek district also has the potential to be developed as a tourist destination in the future, and the development is more extensive in the conservation area and integrated along the border, which allows for the development of integrated resorts.

The Minister of Tourism, Thong Khon, has said that this master plan will be an important strategic document to promote the development of tourism in Mondulkiri province as well as the whole northeastern region, especially contributing to making the northeastern region a fourth economic pole of Cambodia related to agro-industry and mineral resources.

He said that Mondulkiri province also has great potential for agricultural development, especially the development of flower and vegetable farms to supply domestic demand as well as for export to other countries, while this potential has not yet been fully developed. In addition, the approval of the construction of Mondulkiri Airport will attract tourists and make the connection from Siem Reap, Phnom Penh, and the coast to Mondulkiri and the whole northeastern region much easier.

He added, "In the future, Mondulkiri airport could be used as a regional airport connecting Mondulkiri to neighboring tourist destinations including Thailand, Vietnam, and Laos, as well as major ASEAN cities and other countries like Japan, Korea, Australia, and the Middle East, taking between only five to seven hours of travel."

Mondulkiri province is a strong and conducive location for development. As a high-level eco-tourism destination, it will be able to attract more tourists in the future, create jobs, increase income and improve the lives of local people. The five protected areas and wildlife sanctuaries in Mondulkiri also have great potential. With an area of more than one million hectares, it is a great natural resource for ecotourism development and is similar to the Areng valley of the southern Cardamom Mountains (southwest of the country), and is considered the last major tropical forest of Southeast Asia.

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