Cambodian-based Confluences and New York-based tourism development company Trove Tourism Development Advisors have partnered with the Ministry of Tourism of Cambodia to develop a Sangkat-Level urban tourism plan with the goal of developing a plan that can be applicable to a wider Cambodian context.
The plan has focused on the capitals’ Phsar Kandal Ti Muoy/Riverside and Wat Phnom/La Poste areas and the project is being funded directly funded by and in partnership with the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) and is a part of the Tourism Commercial Capacity Building Program.
In Confluences monthly newsletter, they said: “The objective of this activity is to create a Sangkat Level Model Urban Tourism Plan to support the sustainable local economic development of the proposed areas and to enable the local community to benefit from the natural and cultural heritage. The plan will deliver an international model for heritage tourism development and preservation adapted to the Cambodian context. The team’s ultimate goal is to create these Sangkats as premier sustainable urban heritage tourism destinations.
Although this plan will provide a framework to enhance the quality of the tourism potential of the target area in a structured manner, it will also provide a replicable model for localised urban tourism planning in other cities and towns in Cambodia.”
Soreasmey Ke Bin, CEO of Confluences added that “This specific project not only focuses on Phnom Penh but also aims to develop a standard process that the Ministry of Tourism and related tourism development stakeholders can use to develop tourism destinations out of urban heritage locations in the future.”
The proposed activity has the support of the private sector which recognises the importance of improving tourism options in Phnom Penh. In total, the steering group included 60+ stakeholders from representatives of the local communities, major Cambodian ministries and public institutions, real estate investors and developers, hospitality professionals of all sizes, as well as tour boats and travel agencies.
The project launched in May 2022 and the MoT hopes there will be an actionable plan by the end of the year.
Urban Heritage Cambodia
Danny Cohanpour, CEO of Trove Tourism Development Advisors said “Urban heritage sites have the propensity to drive immense growth in tourism visitors, repeat visitors, and tourism GDP. However, it is important to balance these aims with a continued focus on preserving these sites, respecting the local residents and businesses, and working within the existing culture.”
He added the company has seen this play out around the world and “that when this balance is met, the destination’s tourism industry is benefited.”
SMART Digital Tourism – Cambodia
In addition, the project aims to offer SMART digital tourism to support enhancing visitor experiences.
The Kingdom is trying to ramp up its digital capabilities in its tourism industry in order to recover from the pandemic and better compete with its Southeast Asian neighbours such as Thailand.
- In 2021 a digital literacy training program and online vocational school in partnership with Wonderpass, launched to make ticketing and reservation solutions more accessible to industry stakeholders.
- More plans are laid out in the 2021 Roadmap for the Recovery of Cambodian Tourism During and Post Covid-19.
- Payment options have become increasingly digitalised – more streamlined and contactless.