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Published on : Wednesday, December 4, 2013
The Prime Minister of Cambodia, Hun Sen, affirmed tourism´s role as an important agenda for the sustainable development of Cambodia´s tourism as he became the 13th Head of State in Asia to receive the UNWTO/WTTC Open Letter on Travel and Tourism (Cambodia, 31 October 2013).
“In spite of the worldwide economic crisis, Cambodia enjoys continuous tourism growth. Tourism in Cambodia grew from scratch to 4.2 million foreign visitors expected this year of 2013,” said Prime Minister Hun Sen. “Tourism development has been taken by the Cambodian government as a priority for the sustainable development of our cultural and natural heritage sites,” he added.
“Cambodia´s impressive tourism achievement over the last decade is a true success story” UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai said. “With its wide variety of UNESCO heritage sites, Cambodia continues to draw tourists from all over the world and we are very happy to see the country placing tourism as a priority in their development agenda.”
Cambodia´s tourism has experienced a significant growth over the years, from 460,000 visitors in 2000 to 3.6 million in 2012, or an increase of 24% over the previous year. International tourism generated US$ 1.8 billion in receipts in 2012.
During his visit to Cambodia UNWTO Secretary-General announced that UNWTO and UNESCO will organize an International Conference on Tourism and Culture in Siem Reap in February 2015. UNWTO has been supporting Cambodia, a Member State since 1975, in its sustainable tourism initiatives through human resources training, the implementation of the national Tourism Satellite Account (TSA) system and community development projects namely the Mekong River Discovery Trail project done in cooperation with the Sustainable Tourism Eliminating Poverty (STEP) Foundation.