The Ministry of Tourism announced yesterday a series of competitions aimed at enhancing the quality of tourism services in the Kingdom and widening the country’s tourism offer.
Chea Bora, Secretary of State at the Ministry of Tourism, said during a workshop on tourism held yesterday that the second edition of the ‘Best Resort’ contest and the ‘Best Tourism Community’ competition, which will take place this year for the first time, seek to up standards in the industry.
He said this type of events are necessary to tackle some of the biggest issues facing the tourism industry, such as the presence of large amounts of garbage in cities across the Kingdom.
“There are still many issues that we are facing when it comes to the proper management of tourism sites; garbage disposal is one of the main ones,” Mr Bora said.
Chea Bora, Tourism Secretary of State. KT/Chor Sokunthea
Despite challenges like this, he said progress made in the industry in terms of infrastructure development and enhancing tourist safety is undeniable.
Resorts and tourism communities that enter the contests will be rated based on their management practices, environmental footprint, how much information they make available to guests, as well as safety standards and customer satisfaction levels, said Chuk Chumnor, director of the Cultural Tourism and Resorts Department.
Application for both contests is now open and winners will be announced in December. They will earn a certificate attesting to the quality of their services.
Meas Chamnap, chief of the Chi Phat community in Koh Kong, a community-based ecotourism site, said competitions like this encourage communities like his own to try harder and aim higher.
“We are now preparing to compete and we will try our best,” Mr Chamnap said. “By partaking in this contest, we hope to make our community more attractive for local and international visitors.”
The ministry announced a third competition. A video contest will also take place this year, in which participants are asked to tackle a topic related to ecotourism in Cambodia. Anyone is welcomed to submit a video, although ministry representatives encourage students in particular to send in their creations.
Winners will be decided based on the amount of ‘likes’ their videos get on Facebook, with the top three teams receiving cash prices.
Cambodia now has 400 resorts and 56 tourism communities, according to the Ministry of Tourism.
The number of international tourists increased by 14 percent last year, reaching 5.6 million. By the year 2020, the government aims to welcome 7 million foreign visitors.