Advertisements Mark Launch of Cambodian Tourism Campaign

Cambodia’s new tourism campaign “Cambodia, Kingdom of Wonder” began running ads on CNN International this week highlighting the country’s beaches, natural environment and historic temples, a tourism ministry official said Thursday.

The ministry began searching for a new tourism slogan and branding campaign in May after deciding to replace the previous, ungrammatical “Cambodia, a Newest Destination in Asia.”

The ad features Angkor Wat alongside images of eco-tourism sites, Apsara dancers, beaches and shadow puppets.

“We have so many wonders in the Kingdom of Cambodia,” said Tourism Ministry marketing and promotions director Pak Sokhom, adding that expanding Cam­bodia’s appeal beyond Angkor is key to the new campaign’s strategy. The campaign will eventually run ads on other international television channels and print media, he said.

In May, the ministry began searching for the new slogan and considered ideas such as “Cambodia-More Than Your Expectations,” and “Cambodia-Diversity Asia.”

Not long after that process began, the International Finance Corporation held a branding workshop for ministry officials and it began searching for a professional ad firm to highlight the country’s uniqueness, Lili Sisombat, a project manager for IFC, said in an e-mail. The IFC is the private-sector wing of the World Bank.

Competing firms suggested slogans such as “Cambodia, Dis­cover a Unique Culture,” “Angkor and So Much More,” and “Inspiring Cambodia,” she wrote.

Ultimately, Edge, a Ho Chi Minh City-based firm won over five other national and regional firms, she added.

Tourism is big business for the country. More than 2 million people visited Cambodia in 2007 and tourism arrivals have increased by 20 percent annually for the last four years. Tourism revenue amounted to $1.4 billion in 2007.

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