With tourism on the rise, officials are looking for ways to maximize profits: safety, infrastructure—and a slogan. Some 60 officials with vested interest in tourism put their heads together Monday to compare notes for the first half of 1999 at a semi-annual tourism conference.
Among the favorite slogans of the officials were “Cambodia: Moving Forward,” “Cambodia: A New Experience,” and, the choice of most officials, “Cambodia: More Than You Know.”
But other than a slogan, Cambodia needs improved infrastructure and more secure public security and private safety, Tourism Minister Veng Sereyvuth said.
Officials from the Ministry of Tourism, the Apsara Authority and each of Cambodia’s 22 provinces discussed problems and solutions to one of the country’s fast-growing industries.
Their findings? Tourism is up—nearly 24 percent compared to this time last year. More than half were tourists from Asia Pacific nations and nearly a quarter came from Europe, as the first half of this year brought more than 300,000 tourists to Cambodia by air, land and sea. And the busier dry season has not yet arrived.
An estimated 220,000 travelers will come by plane to Cambodia this year. But by 2003, the Tourism Ministry expects some 544,000 people will visit Cambodia by air.
And that means money for the country. An average tourist spends nearly $90 a day for about five days, according to an Apsara Tours report. That yields more than $53 million annually for the country.
In addition to improving the airport, including accommodations for domestic flights, the Tourism Ministry plans to launch a new media campaign to advertise the country’s travel opportunities, said Tourism Secretary of State Thong Khon, who also attended the conference.
Political stability was important to the success of Cambodia’s tourism, as well, he said.
Without that, a slogan might not do the trick.