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Sihanoukville hosts tourism skills fair

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Workers preparing an exhibit on January 17 for the ASEAN tourism forum 2022 in Sihanoukville. Heng Chivoan

Sihanoukville hosts tourism skills fair

The Ministry of Tourism is conducting a four-day exhibition on tourism professional development in Preah Sihanouk province from January 18-21, a side event of the 40th ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF 2022), held to attract more visitors to member countries of the regional bloc.

Tang Sochet Kresna, head of the provincial tourism department, said there will be 187 stands of sellers, 40 stands of buyers, 20 media institutions, and 322 guests from 27 countries.

He said the exhibition will focus on the provision of food and beverage services, including cocktails and mocktails, and housekeeping skills. This will be a great opportunity for visitors to learn and train in these skills, and participate in competitions that will be organised during the exhibition.

“Visitors can meet sellers and buyers and large companies, both domestic and international. They can help promote and attract more visitors to Cambodia and the 10 countries in ASEAN,” he said.

He added the skills development programme will promote tourism professionals under the slogan “Tourism Skills Are Your Life!” coined by tourism minister Thong Khon.

Noch Sophuong, manager at LET’S GO Travel & Tours Co Ltd, said the exhibition opens doors for both local and foreign companies to participate and show of their products and services to the public.

She added, however, that exhibition was hampered by Covid-19, which meant it would likely attract less people.

“If the exhibition was organised in a normal situation which had no force majeure, that would be great because then we could showcase our tourism professionals, products and services to many visitors from inside and outside of the country,” she said.

Sochet Kresna said the exhibition was to open ASEAN tourism destinations which are safe and attractive, and reinforce this to visitors and investors.

“We want to show that the 10 ASEAN nations are united to reopen tourism, while in other parts of the world it remains closed. This shows that we have joined hands to fight Covid-19, and we are ready for business,” he said.

Ho Vandy, an adviser to the Cambodia Association of Travel Agents, said this is the third time that the Kingdom has hosted an ASEAN tourism professional development exhibition.

“This exhibition gives us the chance to show off the potential of ecotourism, land tourism, cultural tourism, natural tourism, and agricultural tourism in the Kingdom,” he said.

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