Cambodia. The Destination of Dreams Cambodia is in a
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Cambodia. The Destination of Dreams Cambodia is in a favorable position to take advantage of its location in a highly developed regional market that has shown strong tourism growth. The country has a significant and internationally recognized cultural heritage. This can be developed as an integral part of the tourist experience, which increasingly encompasses cultural heritage and entertainment, including museums and art galleries, and traditional theater and dance. Restoration and preservation of cultural and religious sites and traditions, plus support for contemporary cultural and artistic activities, can be a source of continued spiritual and cultural vitality, and the foundation of cultural tourism. As we have all heard many times, tourists spend less time and money in Cambodia than they do in neighboring countries. Most tourists come to Cambodia to see Angkor Wat. They tour the temples, buy some souvenirs, take some pictures and then fly away. We at PPSEZ view it as our corporate responsibility to view it in a different manner and want to help the RGC in a larger and more comprehensive manner to place the Kingdom of Cambodia as a “Full Tourist Destination” larger than the currently projected “extension of a destination”. We want to mark Cambodia as their premium tourist as well as incentive, meeting and convention destination. We have noted that tourism is a fickle industry, and its success is influenced by many factors. Like fashion, many locations are booming for a while, but tourists can soon lose interest in them. The environment becomes spoiled, once quiet and idyllic places can become loud and overcrowded. And then tourists are likely to move on to another place, since there is high competition around the globe. It is the wish many to view this as a unique opportunity to create a niche market in tourism and use our current and future business environment as a catalyst for multiplier tourism potential and related infrastructure. The goal is to give tourists an opportunity to learn more about Cambodia because tourists, who stay longer, spend more. The general idea is to raise everyone’s awareness about the true potentials of Cambodia’s tourism as a destination by itself. “Cambodia is blessed with great tourism potential – Angkor Wat is a wonder of the world, the culture is rich and interesting, while Sihanoukville’s beaches are beautiful and forests still have wildlife to see. In a developing country like Cambodia, tourism can be a great boon because it brings jobs and human resources development to rural areas where these are badly needed, and it can stimulate the development of all kinds of enterprises such as furniture makers, organic growers, craft producers, craft sellers, performers etc. which start up to supply the tourist industry but grow to serve other markets. Cambodia has much to offer from beautiful white sand beaches in the South to trekking among the hill tribes in the North. The increasing ease and inexpensive price of traveling to and within Cambodia, has led to a major increase in the number of tourists flocking to this Southeast Asian nation annually. Tourism has become Cambodia’s top three leading source of foreign exchange, and thus plays an unquestionably important role in the Cambodian economy. Fortunately the there is little or no negative environmental, cultural, and biological impact of tourism in Cambodia thus far and the government has been fairly thorough in dealing with any issues related to these. Cambodia is not suffering from many of the negative aspects of tourism: the destruction of coral and marine life due to water activities such as boating and scuba diving; waste dumping by hotels and restaurants; uncontrolled construction of tourist facilities on islands such as that experienced in neighboring countries. Tourism Potential Cambodia’s tourism development potential is based on both cultural and natural assets. The premier attraction is the Angkor ruins near Siem Reap, which is now served by direct international flights. This built cultural heritage resource has the UNESCO status of a World Heritage site, and its controlled development has facilitated tourism expansion without site degradation. Supplementing this attraction, the capital, Phnom Penh, has architectural, cultural and scenic assets attractive to tourists, and is also served by an international airport that is being constantly upgraded to permit increasing visitor numbers. The southern coast near Sihanoukville is a popular recreational and tourist destination since the 1960s, and rehabilitation and development of facilities there has facilitated increased visitation while the upgrading of the passenger harbor for cruise liners and the airport to that of a regional airport, will boost Sihanoukville’s potential even more. In the longer term, the northern and north-eastern provinces offer opportunities for nature-based tourism and cultural tourism development. Interest in nature-based tourism is increasing, as Cambodia has a number of species that are endangered and whose numbers have declined in other parts of Asia, and possesses areas of natural beauty that could also become accessible through the development of national parks and marine reserves. Visits to hot springs, waterfalls, lakes, rivers, forest reserves, fishing villages, marine areas, and wildlife reserves would appeal to a substantial number of travelers. There are eight areas with recognized tourism development potential: 1. Siem Reap and Angkor Archaeological Park, which will remain one of the world’s major archaeological sites and tourist attractions and, for the foreseeable future, it is the main tourism asset. It is recognized as a symbol of Cambodia. 2. The North/North East, which can offer cultural tourism including village-based accommodation (including with hill tribes); nature-based tourism; adventure tourism (trekking, game watching, safari-style camps); and river-based tourism. 3. The North, which offers archaeological and religious interest in built cultural heritage sites, especially at Preah Vihear; nature-based tourism; adventure tourism; and village-based accommodation. 4. The Middle Plain, which offers nature and river-based tourism on Tonle Sap and the Mekong; rural exploration; wildlife; fishing; floating villages; and temples and archaeological sites. 5. The Middle Mekong Delta, which offers river-based tourism; rural exploration; and wildlife (mainly birds). 6. The Western Coastal Area, which offers mountaineering and trekking; wildlife viewing; adventure tourism, including white water rafting; coastal areas of scenic beauty; and unspoilt forested areas. 7. The Eastern Coastal Area, which includes Sihanoukville, Kampot, and Kep and surrounding areas, has potential for beach holiday resort development; island cruises; and nature-based tourism, especially in Bokor National Park. 8. Phnom Penh and Surrounds, offers major tourist attractions in the form of the Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda, the National Museum, the French-influenced built environment, the scenic attractions of the Mekong and Tonle Sap rivers, and the Tuol Sleng museum. With pristine beaches rivaling Asia's best holiday destinations, Cambodia's Sihanoukville is poised to jump into the global tourism arena. Thousands of tourists are already lured to Cambodia by the ancient Angkor Wat temple complex but few other sights attract their attention or their desperately sought-after dollars. Sniffing opportunity, the government and private investors are lining up to position the southwestern port town of Sihanoukville as a tropical getaway, competing with the likes of Thailand's Phuket and Indonesia's Bali. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY OF THE FIRST SEVEN MONTHS 2007 REPORT For the Seven months of 2007, Cambodia reached a total of 1,118,659 international visitor, an 19.46% increase compared to the same period of 2006, Siem Reap Province arrivals had increased with 678,422 visitors with a share of 60.65% and an increase of 50.17% change from last year, while Phnom Penh and other destinations had brought in a total of 440,237 visitors and a share of 39.35%. Mode of arrivals The total number of visitor arrivals to Cambodia by Air this month was 743,217 with a share of 66.44%, giving it a change of 34.94%. This consisted of flights that had been scheduled through the Phnom Penh and Siem Reap International Airport. Phnom Penh International Airport had 301,175 visitor arrivals this month with a share of 26.92%, with a change of 30.42% increase, while Siem Reap International Airport had 442,042 visitor arrivals this month giving it a share of 39.52%, with an increased change of 38.20%. Other travelers went via Land & Waterways, which made up about one-third of the total number of visitor arrivals with 329,401; this gives it a share of 29.45%. Visitors arriving by land comprised of 305,717, with a share of 27.33%. Waterways made up 23,684 visitor arrivals with a share of 2.12%, giving it an increase of 7.83%. Same-day visitors brought in 46,041; with a share of 4.12% Top ten markets arrivals The Republic of Korea maintained its leading position, being at the top with 221,381 with a share of 19.79% and 32.28% increase in arrivals from last year. Japan ranks in second with 83,913 visitors which consisted of shares of 7.50%, with a change of 4.57% from 2006 – 2007. It is followed by the US, with an 81,106 arrivals with shares of 7.25% and a change of 14.59% increase from that of last year. Other Countries visitors and change were as follows: Taiwan 70,998 (+71.31%); Vietnam 70,688 (+65.41%); China 65,628 (+54.74%); Thailand 53,238 (+30.14%); France 49,056 (+26.59%); United Kingdom 48,746 (+23.37%); Malaysia 47,182 (+11.01%). Infrastructure is being repaired, government buildings are being repaired, you can see improvements with parks and gardens. Prologue Cambodia is on the brink of breaking free from its neighbors stranglehold on its tourism potentials. There is sustained political, security, economic and social stability for the past decade. Infrastructure has enabled the country to be connected, both in terms of roads and telecommunications. The extension of the Phnom Penh airport has enabled the dream of seeing wide bodied jets like the 747 becoming a reality as Qantas has already flown its 747-400 to the airport while a smaller 747 has landed at Siem Reap. Excitement is building for the day when 24 hour flight operations and continuous arrivals of long haul and regional flights take international travelers beyond the 2 million a year mark in the next 12 months. Charter flights by international carriers are also expanding and JAL is commencing its charter flights to Siem Reap, following other private charter groups. Competitive economic and investment benefits have led to an influx of FDI and business, convention and incentive travelers. Thus, Cambodia is ready and will be a tourist and economic destination on its own accord as it now possess all the necessary elements for this - infrastructure, security, stability at all fronts, investment benefits and economic opportunities.