The provincial town of Kratie will host its first River Festival next month in an attempt to promote community-based tourism, Tourism Minister Thong Khon said Wednesday.
“The river festival will become an important…event to promote the tourism potential in our Mekong region,” he said.
The March 13 to 15 event will showcase art performances and exhibitions, as well as stalls selling local handicrafts. Mr. Khon said it was hoped that increased tourism would help to protect the critically endangered Irrawaddy dolphin.
“Fishing requires the population to work close to the dolphins, as they are attracted to the fish caught on the nets,” he said.
“Tourism will help change people’s work from fishing to providing services like transportation by boats, homestays, selling food and others.”
There are currently an estimated 105 dolphins living in the Kratie area of the Mekong River, according to deputy provincial governor Hoeur Diyem.
The festival is a joint initiative of the Tourism Ministry and the Federal Association of Small and Medium Enterprises of Cambodia, who hope to make it a yearly event.