Battambang wins ‘best countdown’ honours

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Revelers enjoy celebrations in Siem Reap on New Year’s Eve. Hong Menea

Public voting has closed for the Clean City prizes for the Best New Year’s Eve Countdown City of The Year 2022. The results have been tallied, and Battambang province took first place, followed by Preah Sihanouk and Siem Reapw.

Voting, via a government website, was open from December 31 to January 2.

The National Committee for Clean City Evaluation and the Ministry of Tourism congratulated the three provinces on their awards. An award ceremony will take place on February 27, National Clean City Day.

Battambang provincial governor Sok Lou said a team from the provincial authorities had decorated the city with lights and held concerts, art performances and an exhibition of local food.

“We are pleased that so many tourists and visitors to our beautiful province took the time to scan the tourism ministry’s QR codes and vote for us. It is a source of pride that our preparations were so successful, and we are already planning how we can make next year’s celebrations even more spectacular,” he added.

“Battambang province is rich in historical sites, eco-tourism, stunning examples of French colonial architecture and sumptuous food. Its abundance of riches have long drawn tourists to the province,” he continued.

Preah Sihanouk provincial deputy governor Long Dimanche said he was proud that the province had been able to secure second place in the contest, and that the administration would use the award as motivation to redouble their preparations for next year, in terms of beauty, hygiene and infrastructure.

“Although we did not take the first place yet, we are happy with our second place finish. This award is a source of pride to the provincial administration and will bring the residents of the province great joy,” he added.

He continued that the award was an indicator that tourists were gradually returning to the province.

“Although our visitors were principally domestic tourists, this demonstrates what an attractive location we have. We should be preparing for a rapid increase in guests from all around the world, and use this time to further develop our security mechanisms and waste management strategies,” he said.

Dimanche added that there were many contributing factors to the attraction that the province held for tourists. In recent years, the infrastructure and public beaches have undergone significant improvements.

“The government has successfully brought the pandemic under control through vaccination campaigns and health measure implementation, and so we expect more and more people to take advantage of the province’s many attractive islands, sandy beaches and natural resorts,” he concluded.