There will soon be direct flights to Cambodia from Xi’an city in China’s Shaanxi province to meet the growing demand of Chinese tourists, said Tourism Minister Thong Khon yesterday.
The Minister said he had met Shaanxi’s governor Hu Heping last Friday and their talks focused on tourism and business cooperation. “I also asked Mr Hu to help lobby for direct flights from Xi’an city to Cambodia to promote tourism,” he added.
According to Khon, Hu was open to the proposal and said current charter flights from Xi’an city to Cambodia “did not meet the demand” of Chinese tourists. “We agree to promote direct and regular flights from Shaanxi province to Cambodia to support tourism and business investment,” Hu was quoted as telling the Minister.
In a press release issued by the Tourism Ministry, Khon said Cambodia is also keen to set up a tourism office in Shaanxi province to help facilitate the visit of Chinese tourists to the Kingdom. Khon said Cambodia would continue to support China’s One Belt and One Road Initiative (OBORI) to build a new Silk Road linking Asia, Africa and Europe. The OBORI is a landmark programme to invest billions of dollars in infrastructure projects including railways, ports and power grids.
In May, the government opened a trade centre in Shaanxi province which was inaugurated by Prime Minister Hun Sen. According to the data from Cambodia’s Ministry of Commerce, trade between Shaanxi province and Cambodia was worth $1.29 billion in 2016, while trade with the whole of China came in at $4.5 billion last year. In November last year, Cambodia officially launched a trade centre in Haining, in China’s province of Zhejiang, to promote culture and diversify the export of Cambodian products to Chinese markets.
The Tourism Ministry has also unveiled a competition intended to help increase the number of Chinese tourists visiting the country to two million by 2020. The First China Ready Contest will give Chinese visitors the chance to evaluate tourism services such as restaurants, hotels, transport providers, tour agents, souvenir shops and malls, to see which provides the best hospitality to tourists from China.
The deadline for contestants to enter the first stage of the competition will be September 2. The China Ready Centre will then produce evaluation questionnaires for each of the contestants. From September 11 to October 10, contestants will be evaluated by their customers, with the top 10 winners to be announced at the Second China Ready Forum, from October 30-31.