Siem Reap’s Pub Street. Siem Reap is one of the main tourist destinations in the country. KT/Chor Sokunthea
Phnom Penh and Siem Reap will each host a tourism business fair next month, an expo that will serve as a platform for local and international businesses to connect and increase their networks.
Thourn Sinan, chairman of the Cambodia Chapter of the Pacific Asia Travel Association, the organiser, told Khmer Times that this is the first year the fairs are held.
He said about 70 companies will partake in the events. At least 40 will come from other countries in Asean, while around 18 companies from Bangladesh are expected to join.
He said the events will allow providers and consumers of services in the hospitality and tourism sectors to meet to exchange ideas and network.
“With the local tourism industry growing fast, finding time to meet face to face with other companies in the sector is becoming a challenge. That is why these type of events are needed.”
A wide range of firms and organisations will be represented in the trade fairs, from hotels, cafes and tour operators, to ecotourism communities, IT firms, hospitals and guide associations.
Mr Sinan said one of the objectives of the events is to increase the number of tourists in Cambodia, particularly during the low season.
“We don’t get many tourists from April to September, as it is our low season. This is the reason we decided to hold the fair in September.”
He said if the events prove successful, they will be held in other cities across the country.
“This year, the fair will be held two times, one in Phnom Penh and one in Siem Reap. But, for next year, we are planning to have four fairs – two in each city,” Mr Sinan said.
“If there is enough support from local service providers, we will expand to other areas in the country, beginning with Battambang, the coast and the eastern provinces,” Mr Sinan said.
According to the Ministry of Tourism, about 3 million international tourists visited the Kingdom during the first half of the year, a hike of 13 percent. The ministry said it forecasts that the country will receive 6.2 million foreign tourists in 2018, which would amount to an increase of 12 percent.
The first Biz Fair will be held in Siem Reap on September 3 and in Phnom Penh on September 5. The event is being organised by PATA’s Cambodia Chapter and the Cambodia Tourism Federation.