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Ministry of Tourism Plans to Organize Sihanoukville Tourism Market as ASEAN and European Market

SIHANOUKVILLE: The Ministry of Tourism and the private sector discuss the source of the tourism market for Sihanoukville, identifying ASEAN and European markets as new destinations to be considered first for Sihanoukville vaccine tourism destinations in the tourism recovery phase. Apart from this, Sihanoukville also needs to consider preparing more tourist attractions by boat and also organize more Muslim tourism.

During the meeting of the sub-working group to determine the source of a vaccine tourism market for Sihanoukville on Monday, 28 February, between the Under Secretary of State of the Ministry of Tourism, Sok Sangvar, and private sector representatives, the President of the Cambodian Tourism Association, Chhay Sivlin, stated that the tourism market for Sihanoukville at this stage is the ASEAN market because it is possible for more flexible travel with Cambodia in this region. In addition, a market in Europe has also been identified after Cambodia organized the 40th ASEAN Tourism Forum in Sihanoukville.

The Cambodian Tourism Association President also asked the relevant institutions to conduct more studies on preparing tourist attractions by boat, because she has seen how there are ships which dock at Sihanoukville, and only a few tourists have come ashore to visit Cambodia, spending less time to visit compared to other countries. In line with this point, she also asked for a Visa on arrival to be made available for tourists, especially those arriving on cruises.

Undersecretary of State for the Ministry of Tourism, Kareem Hammat Nussri, spoke about the arrangement of Muslim tourism to Sihanoukville. He said there is a lot of potential for Muslim tourism as people from Muslim countries travel a lot around the world and ASEAN countries also have a lot of Muslim tourisms. Arranging essentials for Muslims, such as halal restaurants, Muslim communities, etc., will help to attract more Muslim tourists. He suggested training traders and tourism stakeholders to understand Muslim tourism as well.

The President of Sihanoukville Chamber of Commerce, Van Sokheng, said that in the past, his team had contacted neighboring countries such as Thailand, Vietnam and Laos to arrange mutual tour packages, but this effort was interrupted by Covid-19. He affirmed that his team will push to complete this work.

Undersecretary of State for the Ministry of Tourism, Sok Sangvar, stated that the tourism sector needs cooperation between the state and the private sector to be successful, and he hoped that the private sector will continue to support more good ideas to promote Cambodia's tourism sector to be more successful.

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