Cambodia Launches New Tourism Board to Boost Industry with Public-Private Partnership

PHNOM PENH: Cambodia has taken a major step forward in revitalizing its tourism industry by establishing the Board (CTB). On June 27, 2024, Prime Minister Hun Manet signed the paperwork. This initiative represents a significant shift towards a collaborative approach, bringing together key players from both the public and private sectors.

Headed by H.E. Sok Soken, the Minister of Tourism, the CTB boasts a diverse membership. Seven public institutions relevant to tourism and seven representatives from the private sector join forces on this 15-member board. This commitment to collaboration aims to strengthen partnerships and cooperation between public and private entities, fostering a more robust tourism industry in Cambodia.

The CTB's mission is clear, by enhancing Cambodia's competitiveness in the global tourism market. Working together, the board will develop solutions to address current challenges, create a comprehensive plan with clear goals and strategies for future development, and ultimately transform Cambodia into a leading and vibrant tourist destination.

The CTB will serve as a key mechanism for promoting Cambodian tourism. Effective marketing and promotion will target priority markets and attract visitors. But the board's support goes beyond marketing. It will also actively address challenges faced by the private sector, contribute to developing strategic tourism plans, and participate in solutions for other industry issues that may arise.

The launch of the CTB is expected to significantly contribute to the 's strategic initiatives “Build Plus 3Ds”. Furthermore, it aligns with the Royal Government's vision for the first phase of its seventh pentagonal strategy for tourism – positioning Cambodia as a premier tourist destination. With this collaborative approach, the Cambodia Tourism Board is poised to drive significant growth within the industry.

World Bank Report in June

Cambodia's economic recovery is accelerating, driven by a rebound in tourism and exports, according to the latest World Bank report. However, growth remains slower compared to pre-pandemic levels.

Tourist arrivals are picking up, with the first quarter of 2024 reaching 84.3% of 2019 levels. This recovery pace is similar to Thailand but lags behind Vietnam. An important shift is happening within tourism.

Land border crossings now account for a larger share (60%) of arrivals compared to air travel (40%) in the pre-pandemic period. This suggests lower tourist spending as air travel typically involves higher expenditure. Chinese tourist arrivals, previously the largest group, have plunged to just 12% in the first quarter of 2024, compared to nearly 40% before the pandemic.

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