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Cambodia develops cultural heritage and eco-tourism

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Mohan Gunti  Mar 24, 2008

PHNOM PEHN, Cambodia (eTN) - In recent years, the government of Cambodia has given priority to the development of the country’s tourism industry, focusing on cultural and eco-tourism in order to promote the advancement of national economy and rapid poverty alleviation.

Cambodian Tourism Minister Thong Khon said that tourism plays a significant role in generating employment opportunities and expanding national economic base through its linkages with the agricultural, industrial and service sectors. The minister pointed out that Cambodia's tourism sector is the key to the country's development, thus helping economic development and poverty alleviation.

In response to the government's decision, on March 16, 2008, the Ministry of Tourism, Preah Vihear National Authority, APSARA Authority and other tourism industry members conducted a site visit Prasat Preah Vihear, an eleventh century monument in Preah Vihear province, northern Cambodia that is revered as one of the greatest Khmer temples of all times.

The Cambodian government has plans to develop the Preah Vihear temple into a cultural tourism destination in an effort to reach the goal of attracting 3 million tourists by 2010.

Minister Khon, Hang Soth, general director of the Preah Vihear National Authority, in a joint statement said that roads and infrastructure should be developed first so as to attract tourists.

CATA president Ho Vandy also stressed the same as an important factor to develop the tourism in the northern region.

Authorities have already outlined a plan to develop cultural and eco-tourism since Cambodia abounds with enormous potential in cultural and natural heritage, and most of which have not yet been developed.

Tourism Minister Khon said that the tourism ministry has accelerated its efforts in order to make northern cultural tourist attractions, adding that in the mean time, the ministry also has done its best to set up other cultural sites for tourism development.

To promote the development of cultural and eco-tourism the Ministry of Tourism, along with relevant ministries, authorities and international community, has made efforts to improve the efficiency of administration in tour operations and services, as well as to train human resources.

In recent years, the government allocated more financial budget for rehabilitation of roads in order to facilitate tourists.

Depending on its enriched cultural and natural resources, Cambodian authorities are determined to convert the country into the most preferred cultural and eco-tourist destination in the region.

Preah Vihear Temple is located in a pleasant environment with an attractive countryside slightly east of the mid section of the Dongrek Mountains. It is perched on the edge of a giant cliff, about 525 meters above sea level in Preah Vihear Province, Northern part of Cambodia. It is also situated close to the Cambodia-Thai border Sisaket province.

The Preah Vihear temple was built from year 900 to 1150. Preah Vihear, which means sacred monastery in Khmer, was built over a span of about 300 years, starting in the 9th century.

The Cambodian government has proposed the sacred Hindu Temple Preah Vihear to the UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee to officially list as World Heritage site because of its outstanding historical, cultural and universal value.

Cambodia develops cultural heritage and eco-tourism



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