PHNOM PENH, 17 July 2017: Cambodia’s Ministry of Tourism has called on officials and stakeholders in the tourism business to focus more on meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions popularly known in the trade as MICE.
Agence Kampuchea Presse quoted Tourism Minister, Thong Khon, saying MICE business attracts high-spend tourists, while the events they attend offer added value in terms sharing expertise and new ideas.
Developing MICE is now a priority for the country’s tourism business, he said.
With the soft opening, 14 September, of the new five-star Sokha Siem Reap Resort, which has a 8,950 sqm exhibition hall the authorities hope to draw more events to Siem Reap, which is home to the nation’s iconic Angkor Wat.
The country is adopting a strategy of diversification to broaden its base in tourism from sightseeing to include MICE, sometimes called business tourism, while extending the travel experience to other regions such as southern coastal resorts and the attractions of the Mekong River near the border with Laos.
According to surveys, Cambodia has 1,429 potential tourist attractions, of which only 335 sites have licenses. There are in total 647 hotels of 36,236 rooms, 1,996 guesthouses of 28,885 rooms, 688 adult entertainment centres, and 1,844 restaurants across the kingdom.
Besides, the country has 588 tour agencies, 32 tourism sports sites, and 5,088 tour guides.
Cambodia expects to attract around 7 million foreign tourists by 2020. The country welcomed 5,011,712 international travellers last year increasing 5.0% from 4,775,231 visits in 2015.