Sunday, June 20, 2010

Cambodia applies for coastline award to promote tourism

PHNOM PENH, June 14 (Xinhua) -- Cambodia expects to include its coastal areas in the Club of the Most Beautiful Bays in the World next year in order to attract more tourists to the Cambodia's coastal areas, local media reported on Monday, citing Tourism Minister Thong Khon.
The Tourism Ministry submitted the document of the Cambodia's 450 km coastal areas stretching in four provinces of Koh Kong, Sihanoukville, Kampot and Kep to list with the Club in early May, 2010 during the Club's 6th world congress in Halong Bay, Vietnam, said the minister at a meeting held in Preah Sihanouk province late last week, the Phnom Penh Post reported.
"Natural resources at our coastal lines have been preserved well, so we hope our coastal areas will be listed among the world' s most beautiful bays next year in the 7th annual meeting of the Club," Thong Khon was quoted as saying. "When it gains the status, it would help to attract more tourists to the areas, which are a potential to develop the nation's economy."
Cambodia's coastal area is the second most popular destination for tourists after Angkor Wat temple in Siem Reap province. Cambodia received 2.16 million foreign tourists last year, but only 7 percent or 154,500 visited the coastal areas.
According to the Club's criteria, to be listed as the world's most beautiful bay, a bay must be under the protection project, an attractively natural area, recognized both local and regional level, a potential for economy development and recognized by UNESCO.
Advantages receives from the membership is information exchanges and boost the promotion of the potential in the coastal areas on international market.
Ang Kim Eang, president of the Cambodian Association on Travel Agents, was quoted as saying that if Cambodia's coastline was recognized by the Club, the country would be able to increase tourist numbers by 50 percent over the next five years.
The Club was established in March 1997, in Berlin, Germany, so far, 22 countries as members with 30 bays have been recognized as the most beautiful bays in the world.

Editor: Lu Hui

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