A Chinese construction giant is eyeing investment opportunities in Cambodia’s thriving tourism sector, as the government continues to fine-tune its strategy to accelerate the flow of Chinese tourists into the kingdom.
Minister of Tourism Thong Khon met representatives of China Construction (South Pacific) Development last week, who informed the minister they are interested in investing in hospitality infrastructure given the impressive growth in the number of tourists visiting the country.
Gu Shan, representative of China Construction, said the company is now in the kingdom on a fact-finding mission to learn more about the local market.
“Our operations in Cambodia are part of the Belt and Road Initiative of the Chinese government. We aim to strengthen ties between the two countries,” Mr Gu explained.
The government aims to attract two million Chinese holidaymakers by 2020 as part of its “China Ready” policy, a strategy devised to take advantage of the growing numbers of Chinese travelling abroad.
“Cambodia needs more infrastructure to cope with the surging number of tourists. We received 3.6 million tourists during the first nine months of the year. We will welcome 5.5 million tourists by the end of the year and expect to have 7 million international tourists by 2020,” Mr Khon said.
Tith Chantha, secretary of the Ministry of Tourism, said that as tourism numbers continue to grow, Cambodia will eventually face a shortage of accommodation and entertainment facilities.
He added that companies are now “competing to grab opportunities in the sector” and build that infrastructure.
The meeting between the government and representatives of the company serves as an initial point of contact, and more meetings will follow in upcoming months to continue negotiations and explore more opportunities in the country.
By 2020, the workforce in Cambodia’s tourism industry is expected to reach one million people, according to government plans. In 2017, at least 620,000 new jobs were created in the sector.