“Visit Cambodia 2023” will attract more visitors, including sports fans.

“Visit Cambodia 2023” expects a tourism boom during the 32nd Southeast Asia (SEA) Games from May 5 to 17 and the 12th Asean Para Games from June 3 to 9, both of which will take place in Phnom Penh.

The Cambodian SEA Games Organising Committee (CAMSOC) has already announced a 100-day countdown program for both games, which is expected to boost tourism.

Beginning in February, the country’s tourist industry is likely to witness an increase in visitors, and the SEA Games will be a game-changer.

H.E Thong Khon, Minister of Tourism and permanent vice chairperson of the Cambodia SEA Games Organizing Committee (CAMSOC), recently asked tour operators and agents to promote the SEA Games and Paralympics in order to attract international visitors. Khon also serves as President of the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia (NOCC).

The two sports events could bring more people from other ASEAN countries to Cambodia. They could also improve the brand “Visit Cambodia 2023” around the world.

The CAMSOC is on a mission to promote the games among the general public and ASEAN countries before the 100-day countdown begins. The government has a solid track record of organizing events, and it has recently organized successful ASEAN summits.

The sporting events would also provide more opportunities to showcase Cambodia’s good COVID-19 management practices to the rest of the world. Even though COVID-19 resurfaced in various other countries around the world recently, it stayed under control in Cambodia, and the Royal Government ran a successful vaccination campaign.

During the last 30 years, Cambodia has developed fast and is now considered the next Asian Tiger. From 1998 to 2019, the country’s economy grew by an average of 7.7% per year. This significantly reduced poverty and improved infrastructure.

According to the Asian Development Bank (ADB), tourism directly contributes 11.5 percent of Cambodia’s GDP, generating $2.2 billion in annual revenue and supporting 782,500 jobs, accounting for approximately 12.4 percent of total employment.

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Cambodia received 6.6 million international tourists in 2019, but that figure dropped to 200,000 in 2021. Cambodia’s borders were never closed during the COVID-19 pandemic. It always extended a warm welcome to visitors. Cambodia was the first ASEAN country to reopen its borders to tourists upon the end of the pandemic. The country is anticipated to have welcomed 2.2 million international tourists in 2022 (the final official count is not yet available), and 2023 is projected to grow on this.

Source: Khmer Times

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