Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Cambodia to form tourism task force to tackle crisis fallout

Cambodia to form tourism task force to tackle crisis fallout

PHNOM PENH, Dec. 3 (Xinhua) -- Cambodia's tourism sector is set to form a task force next week to address the Thai political crisis that has caused foreign arrivals in the Kingdom to plummet, national media reported Wednesday.

The task force will consist of 10 institutions, including airlines, travel agencies, hotels, restaurants and government departments, and will develop a national strategy to attract foreign tourists, Ho Vandy, president of the Cambodian Association of Travel Agents, was quoted by the Phnom Penh Post as saying.

He said the Ministry of Tourism approved the task force on Tuesday and it would convene next week.

Both of Bangkok's major airports have been occupied by anti-government protesters since last week, leaving hundreds of thousands of travelers stranded.

The crisis has hit Cambodia's tourism industry hard, as about a third of the Kingdom's visitors arrive via Thailand.

Ho Vandy said the task force hopes to shift Cambodia's tourist arrivals away from Thailand.

"Although most tourists in Cambodia come through Thailand, our tourism sector has survived because we have other gateways such as Malaysia, Singapore, China, South Korea and Vietnam," he added.

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