Departments gear up for World Tourism Day

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Tourists visit Angkor Wat temple in Siem Reap province. Siem Reap Tourism Department

The Ministry of Tourism is encouraging tourism departments in Phnom Penh and all provinces to celebrate World Tourism Day under the “tourism and development” banner.

Departments are expected to prepare announcements and logos to display at State institutions, tourism businesses, resorts, schools, public spaces and on main roads.

Monday’s letter from the ministry said there must be participation from provincial leaders, teachers, students and people who work in the tourism sector.

The celebration is meant to raise awareness of the role the tourism sector plays in developing the economy.

On September 24, the International Labour Organisation ILO) estimated that 495 million people have lost jobs in the tourism sector and 300 million are at risk of being unemployed due to the ongoing effects of Covid-19.

The tourism sector in Cambodia employed 630,000 people and hundreds of thousands of indirect workers in 2019.

The ministry reported that about 3,000 hotels, guesthouses, restaurants, massage and karaoke parlours, spas, entertainment clubs, and travel companies were closed, affecting about 45,405 people.

The ministry calculates Cambodia may lose about $3 billion in revenue this year due to a dramatic drop in international tourists.

The government has encouraged local tourism since August by allowing holidays like Khmer New Year and the Pchum Ben festival.

During the New Year celebrations, 1.5 million people travelled and brought about $100 million to local economies.

In a letter on Monday, Prime Minister Hun Sen wrote that the Covid-19 crisis had changed holiday patterns and encouraged people to travel to rural areas and enjoy more of eco-tourism and natural places.

He encouraged tourism authorities to pay more attention to rural areas that demonstrate the values of culture and tradition and make products for local and international tourists.

Kampot provincial Department of Tourism director Soy Sinol told The Post on Tuesday that he will celebrate World Tourism Day in the first week of October at the Phnom Kampong Trach resort in Kampong Trach district.

He said it has breathtaking caves and used to be the setting for movies.

“Our title is Tourism and Rural Development. We want to support tourism in these areas. People who participate will take pictures of the view and post to Facebook,” he said.

Preah Vihear provincial Department of Tourism director Kong Vibol said his department will celebrate World Tourism Day on October 2 at the Tumnub 95 resort in Preah Vihear.