ASEAN Tourism Forum 2022 boosts sector for Kingdom

Prime Minister Hun Sen will preside over the official opening of the 40th ASEAN Tourism Forum 2022 (ATF 2022), which Cambodia is to host on January 18 in Preah Sihanouk province.

The provincial administration of Preah Sihanouk said the forum would be an important step in the official reopening of tourist destinations in the ASEAN region after the disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic over the past two years. Provincial authorities say the international event is a fantastic chance to promote Cambodia as one of the safest tourist destinations in the region.

The administration added that several delegations had already arrived in Cambodia ahead of the event. Delegations from Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia arrived safely at Preah Sihanouk International Airport on January 16, with other ASEAN delegations expected to join them in the coming days.

Provincial Deputy Governor Long Dimanche told the Post that provincial authorities were ready for the official opening of the forum and had arranged locations for delegates and guests.

“The Provincial Hall has been prepared to receive our guests in a safe and orderly manner, and Covid-19 measures have been established to ensure everyone’s safety,” he said.

He added that the tourism ministry will also host meetings and the province has planted trees as symbols of welcome for each of the visiting ASEAN tourism ministers.

“We also organized a tourism fair for sellers, buyers and journalists, and organized tours of the islands. In addition, we organized security for the official opening ceremony on January 18. The venues are Samdech Techo Square and Sokha Hotel,” he said.

The provincial administration said that on the morning of January 17, the work of organizing the entire event, the locations of the tourist fair stands, the opening and closing ceremonies and other related programs had been completed as planned.

Tourism Minister Thong Khon said the forum marked an important step in the reopening of ASEAN tourist destinations. He is optimistic that this international event will showcase Cambodia as one of the safest tourist destinations in the region.

“Tourism ministers and senior officials from the 10 ASEAN member countries have confirmed their attendance at the forum, and 123 additional international delegates are expected,” he said.

He added that the tourism fair will be made up of 187 sellers, 40 buyers, 20 media companies and 322 guests from 27 countries.

Khon said that as ASEAN Chair for this year, Cambodia will also host many ASEAN-related events as well as meetings with relevant partner organizations and the private sector, and international tourism events.

Melvin B. Baillie