Cambodia and Indonesia have pledged to improve tourism cooperation and agreed on a five-pronged strategy to revive travel to both countries as Covid-19 headwinds ease, the tourism ministry said.
The pledge was made at a bilateral meeting between Tourism Minister Thong Khon and his Indonesian counterpart Sandiaga Uno on September 27 – coinciding with the 42nd World Tourism Day – on the sidelines of the Group of 20 (G20) tourism ministers meeting in Bali, Indonesia from September 26-27. The ministry said in a statement on Sept.
The first element of the strategy is to set up a joint working group to oversee the implementation of a bilateral Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on tourism cooperation signed during the 40th ASEAN Tourism Forum in Sihanoukville in January.
The second is to pave the way for more direct flights between the two countries.
The third is to implement the ASEAN Mutual Recognition Arrangement on Tourism Professionals (MRA-TP) and promote relevant knowledge sharing through study visits, workshops and similar activities. The MRA-TP was signed on November 9, 2012 by the tourism ministers of all 10 member states of the bloc.
Similarly, the fourth and fifth exchanges of experience will be promoted in the following areas: environment- and community-based tourism development and coastal zone planning and management; and tourism development and management specifically in Siem Reap.
Sandiaga spoke highly of Cambodia’s achievements in the Covid era and commended the kingdom for actively pursuing its work as ASEAN’s rotating presidency for 2022, while Khon Indonesia for successfully hosting the G20 meeting as well as this year’s official World Tourism Day celebrations praised. according to statement.
The following day, Sandiaga tweeted in Indonesian: “I hope to advance, develop and promote tourism flows between the two countries.
“Indonesia and Cambodia have similar archaeological legacies with UNESCO-designated World Heritage sites including the Borobudur and Angkor Wat temples.
“Hopefully, with the cooperation established, Indonesia and Cambodia can further improve human resources and national economic development, especially in the tourism sectors of both countries,” he said.
Adviser to the Cambodian Association of Travel Agencies, Ho Vandy, claimed that due to Indonesia’s massive population and thriving economy, the return of direct post-Covid air routes with the sprawling archipelagic nation would represent a major economic boost for the kingdom. Currently, all commercial flights between the two countries include a stopover, usually in Malaysia, Singapore or Thailand, he noted.
“Should flights resume, the number of Indonesian tourists to Cambodia will certainly increase,” he said.
The Ministry of Tourism reported that Cambodia welcomed 998,272 international visitors in the first eight months of 2022, an annual increase of 720 percent.
Indonesia accounted for 3.92 percent or 39,159 travelers, up 956.9 percent year-on-year, becoming the fifth largest source market after Thailand, Vietnam, China and the United States.