Cambodia outlines ecotourism policy

PHNOM PENH, 22 November 2018: Cambodia’s Council of Ministers has signed a draft policy that will support the expansion of eco-tourism facilities across the country, while safeguarding natural assets.

The policy still needs national assembly approval according to a report in the Phnom Penh Post on Wednesday before it becomes legally binding.

The UNWTO forecasts that eco-tourists will increase 20% annually, according Council of Ministers spokesman Phay Siphan.

Siphan noted that Cambodia’s ecotourism sector was expanding fast so it was imperative to have laws in place to protect and conserve the country’s nature and cultural assets.

“The policy will develop ecotourism and create a mechanism to protect… The [draft] will be submitted to the national assembly this week in order review for its adoption,” he told the Phnom Penh Post.

He called eco-tourism the “green gold” that would help develop the nation’s economy.

Cambodia received 5.6 million international tourists last year and generated USD3.6 billion or 13% of the country’s GDP.

The country’s Ministry of Tourism is cooperating with relevant ministries to develop 56 sites with tourism communities and identify ecotourism potential in 16 provinces.

Cambodia already has 56 licensed tourism and ecotourism communities.