The Kingdom has urged Japan to increase investment in the Cambodian tourism sector.
During a meeting with outgoing Japanese Ambassador to Cambodia Hidehisa Horinouchi on Monday, Minister of Tourism Thong Khon cited the progress of Cambodian tourism as a result of exceptional cooperation with Japan.
“I request the Japanese government and investors further increase investment in Cambodia, such as in new tourism products, and create new tourism destinations, especially for the many retired Japanese tourists,” he said.
Khon also requested Japan continue its assistance in access road construction to the Kingdom’s key tourism communities.
Horinouchi said Japan is committed to continuing its cooperation with Cambodia and he pledged to bring the minister’s proposals to the Japanese government.
The ministry’s spokesman Top Sopheak on Tuesday said Cambodia is a great destination for Japanese tourists, especially Siem Reap province’s temples.
He said the development of new tourism products is necessary to attract more Japanese tourists.
“Even though Cambodia already has direct flights to Japan, it needs to strive to further expand its tourism products.
“Winter in Japan often makes life for the elderly difficult, so Cambodia has to work harder to develop a policy to become a second home for Japanese retirees,” said Sopheak.
Cambodia Association of Travel Agents adviser Hor Vandy said Japanese tourists like nature and culture – and that is precisely what the Kingdom has.
“Cambodia has a very favourable natural environment without natural disaster concerns. If we can develop it well, it will attract more Japanese people, especially Japanese retirees to come and live in Cambodia,” he said.
Vandy said that between 2005-2007, the Japanese were ranked number one in terms of visitors to the Kingdom.
“When the Japanese arrive anywhere, they will always bring a lot of good for the locals. They develop human resources, culture, quality of life and the environment,” he said.
The ministry’s data showed that more than 210,000 Japanese tourists visited Cambodia last year – up 3.5 per cent from 2017.
In the first half of this year, Cambodia received about 3.3 million international tourists, a year-on-year increase of 11.2 per cent. Of those, more than 100,000 were Japanese – up three per cent year-on-year.