2024 Cambodia-China People-to-People Exchange Year expected to lure more Chinese tourists, investors


Image from Xinhua

SIEM REAP, Cambodia, Jan. 14 (Xinhua): Souvenir vendor Sok Sanita was glad to see the launch of the 2024 Cambodia-China People-to-People Exchange Year on Saturday, expressing her hope that this initiative would help attract more Chinese tourists and investors to Cambodia.

The 28-year-old vendor in Siem Reap City said this significant event is essential because it will enable Chinese people to better understand Cambodia's history, culture and civilization.

The Cambodia-China people-to-people exchange will encourage more Chinese people to come and visit Cambodia," she told Xinhua while attending the launching ceremony held at the Terrace of the Elephants in the UNESCO-listed Angkor Archaeological Park.

Sanita said Cambodia is eager to see more Chinese arrivals, saying that their presence is vital to help reinvigorate Cambodia's tourism industry in the post-COVID-19 pandemic era.

"Cambodia is safe for all tourists and has a good record of security," she said. "I would like to call on all international tourists, especially the Chinese ones, to come and visit Cambodia, a country that is rich in civilization, culture and history."

Seang Samrith, a 23-year-old university student, who also attended the launching event, said the initiative is crucial because it will help both peoples to gain insights into each other's traditions, customs, and daily lives.

"I think the people-to-people exchange year will provide a lot of benefits to both countries, further deepening their bonds of friendship. As a result, bilateral cooperation in other areas will be better expanded," he told Xinhua.

Samrith recommends that Chinese tourists spend their holidays in Siem Reap province to sightsee the Angkor Archaeological Park, which is a treasure trove of history, culture, and marvelous temples.

Cheng Juanjuan, a 22-year-old Chinese sophomore in the major of Khmer language at the Royal University of Phnom Penh, said the event provided an opportunity for the peoples of China and Cambodia to increase their communication.

"Cambodia is a country with a long history and I like to study at the university in this country," she told Xinhua. "When free from school, I have visited the Royal Palace, the historical site of Wat Phnom, and the Siem Reap-Angkor, among others."

Cheng said Cambodian people are kind and always help others.

"I hope to achieve a good result in my Khmer study, so I will be able to help promote China-Cambodia friendship," she said.

Speaking at the launching ceremony, Tea Banh, a member of the Supreme Privy Council to His Majesty the King, said the event was designed to further enhance diamond cooperation between the two countries and to signal the kingdom's readiness to welcome more Chinese tourists.

"I believe that the 2024 Cambodia-China People-to-People Exchange Year will inject fresh momentum into building a high-quality, high-level and high-standard Cambodia-China community with a shared future in the new era," he said.

Cambodian Tourism Minister Sok Soken said the Southeast Asian country recorded 5.4 million international tourists, including some 540,000 Chinese tourists, in 2023.

"I'm strongly confident that the 2024 Cambodia-China People-to-People Exchange Year will become a new driving force to attract more Chinese tourists and investors to Cambodia, contributing further to deepening the bonds of friendship between the peoples of the two countries," he said.

China was the biggest source of international tourist arrivals to Cambodia in the pre-pandemic era.

The kingdom received 2.36 million Chinese tourists in 2019, accounting for 35.7 percent of the total international tourist arrivals and generating about 1.8 billion U.S. dollars in revenue, according to Cambodia's Ministry of Tourism. - Xinhua

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