Prime Minister Hun Sen yesterday said all of the country’s cities would compete with each other to beautify urban zones and attract more tourists in the newly devised Clean City Contest.
Nine Phnom Penh districts and 26 cities nationwide will be assessed on how clean and visitor-friendly they are, and those who meet the criteria will be awarded a so-called “trophy logo” with one, two or three romduol, the Cambodian national flower, depending on their performance.
In a speech from his office in Phnom Penh, Mr. Hun Sen said cities will be challenged with “strengthening social security and safety by maintaining stability and social order and preventing drug trafficking, prostitution and human trafficking, in particular that of women and children.”
Urban areas will also be judged on the development of infrastructure, strengthening public services and implementing environmentally friendly initiatives.
“In this spirit, I firmly believe the clean city contest held once every three years will become a good opportunity for Cambodia in making her cities become a green tourist destination,” Mr. Hun Sen said.
He also encouraged cities to plant more trees and separate waste into different types of bins.
Yos Yuthy, deputy governor of Phnom Penh’s Daun Penh district, said he would try hard to attain a romduol logo by placing more trash cans on the city’s streets.
“We also make sure that there is no prostitution in our area,” he said. “We collect the girls from around Wat Phnom and send them to the social affairs department.”
Ho Vandy, co-chair of the government-private sector tourism working group, said the difficulty for authorities would be to follow up on Mr. Hun Sen’s words by actually taking measures to make cities more attractive. “The heavy work is not sitting and talking; the heavy work is doing it,” he said.
Also speaking from the prime minister’s office, Tourism Minister Thong Khon, who is chairman of the National Committee for Clean City Assessment, said that Cambodia would have 7 million visitors by 2020, creating a total of 800,000 jobs.