Tourism is considered a priority sector for stimulating economic growth and export earnings, as well as a cross-cutting sector that is one of the four main pillars of the Rectangular Strategy Phase III of the Royal Government of Cambodia. Tourism contributes significantly to economic growth and social development including local employment opportunities, additional income generation, livelihood improvement, poverty reduction and global climate change mitigation. In particular, sustainable and responsible tourism development plays a very important role in managing and conserving natural, cultural and historical resources for future generations. Moreover, tourism growth also raises Cambodia’s image in the global arena while building and strengthening cooperation and integration both regionally and internationally.
The Royal Government of Cambodia deems tourism as “Green Gold” due to its ability to generate immediate receipts into the national economy, contributing to growth in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) at around 10% and balancing the trading sectors in Cambodia.
The Ministry of Tourism of Cambodia is implementing the Asian Development Bank’s loan project Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) Tourism Infrastructure for Inclusive Growth in three target provinces; Kep, Kampot and Koh Kong. The project consists of the following main outputs: (1) Improved Last Mile Tourism Access Infrastructure (Kampot pier development and access road); (2) Improved Environmental Services in Cross Border Tourism Centers; and (3) Strengthened Institutional Capacity to Promote Inclusive Tourism Growth.
In accordance to the outputs mentioned above, an international tourist pier will be established with international marine gate management structure. The well-known Crab Market will be upgraded to grow its potential to attract more tourist visits while protecting the environment, especially with the installation of a wastewater treatment system.
I strongly believe that the expected outcomes from the project’s implementation will contribute to growing the national economy, and particularly local community economic development in Kep, Kampot and Koh Kong. By 2019 the aggregate annual international tourism receipts in the three project provinces will reach $60 million, while direct tourism employment will increase from approximately 5,000 to 22,000 by 2025. It is expected that women will hold 60% of these jobs.
The Ministry of Tourism of Cambodia is very proud to be the executing agency for this very important project. I hope that all interested stakeholders will cooperate to ensure that this project will yield better result.