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ASEAN Tourism Forum 2022 reboots sector for Kingdom

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Officials hold a preparatory meeting for the ATF 2022 in Sihanoukville on Monday. Heng Chivoan

ASEAN Tourism Forum 2022 reboots 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 set to host on January 18 in Preah Sihanouk province.

The Preah Sihanouk Provincial Administration said the forum will be an important milestone in the official reopening of tourist destinations in the ASEAN region after the disruptions brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic in the last two years. Provincial authorities say this 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. The delegations from Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia arrived safely at Preah Sihanouk International Airport on January 16, with other ASEAN delegations set 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 the 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 assure the safety of all,” he said.

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

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

The provincial administration said that as of the morning of January 17, the work of organising the whole event, the locations for tourism fairs booths, the opening and closing ceremonies and other related programmes had been completed as planned.

Tourism minister Thong Khon said the forum marks a milestone 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 had confirmed their attendance at the forum, and an additional 123 international delegates were expected,” he said.

He added that the tourism fair would consist of 187 sellers, 40 buyers, 20 media companies and 322 guests from 27 countries.

Khon said that as the ASEAN chair for this year, Cambodia would also be hosting many ASEAN-related events as well as meetings with relevant partner organisations and the private sector, and international tourism events.

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