Tourism Ministers Start Publicity Campaign Ahead of Forum

Tourism Ministry officials and Cabinet Minister Sok An unveiled a renewed publicity campaign for Cambodia’s tourism sector during a ceremony held yesterday in the capital.

In a preview of the Asean Tourism Forum 2011, the regional travel conference to be held in Phnom Penh from Jan 15 to 21, Tourism Minister Thong Khon briefed tourism industry members on a government plan to promote Cambodia with TV spots, print advertisements and a heightened Internet presence before Mr Sok An stressed the increased importance of the tourism sector.

Mr Khon said during a telephone interview on Monday that during the run-up to the forum, Cambodia would carry out a media plan, aimed in part at aggressively marketing Cambodia to foreign tourists.

“We are making an effort to attract tourists with ‘Clean city, clean resort, good service,'” said Mr Khon, echoing one of his ministry’s new slogans. Secretary of State So Mara also presented a concept television advertisement he said the ministry will refine, then air on CNN, where the government began a tourism campaign in 2008.

The advertisement screened yesterday consisted largely of footage from the 2001 movie “Tomb Raider,” which was partly filmed on location at Angkor Archeological Park and starred Angelina Jolie, one of the many big names, including martial arts actor Jackie Chan, that Mr Mara said the Ministry was considering inviting to ATF 2011 to add to the event’s glamour.

Mr Mara also officially announced the launch of, a travel information website that was already operational.

“This is the time for the promotion and marketing of Cambodia,” said Mr Mara.

Pap Sambo, President of the Cambodia Tourism and Service Workers Federation, said yesterday that he found the government’s decision to do more to advertise Cambodia as a destination encouraging.

“I believe that the expenses of tourists in Cambodia will help business owners and those working in the tourism sector,” Mr Sambo said.

Cambodia Hotel Association President Luu Meng agreed, saying that ATF 2011 in particular would provide an opportunity for Cambodian proprietors to impress travel agents from all over the world.

According to Tourism Ministry predictions, roughly 1,300 rooms will be needed to accommodate ATF 2011’s attendees, over a thousand of whom will be travel industry professionals invited by the ministry, which will cover many of their expenses.



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