Cambodia is to create a heritage tourism package after Kampong Thom’s Prei Kuk Temple was listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.
The archaeological site of Sambor Prei Kuk, “the temple in the richness of the forest” in the Khmer language, has been identified as Ishanapura, the capital of the Chenla Empire that flourished in the late 6th and early 7th centuries CE.
Tourism Minister Thong Khon said: “It is a big tourism product because about 45 percent of tourists in the world like visiting cultural sites and 23 percent like visiting coastal areas and the remaining prefer to visit eco-tourism areas.
“For Cambodia about 50 percent of tourists like visiting cultural and historical tourism sites like Angkor Wat, so we think that when we got Sambor Prei Kuk temple listed in World Heritage Site list we created a big tourism package,” he added.
“We have Siem Reap, Preah Vihear and Prei Kuk in Kampong Thom which we have created as big cultural and historical tourism sites for tourists. Access by roads to these areas is easy. We also cooperated with the Asian Development Bank to help local people generate income from tourism.”
Ho Vandy, secretary-general of the Cambodia National Tourism Alliance, said the Cambodia Association of Travel Agents which had 300 members would boost and promote the World Heritage Site to tourists.
“Getting Prei Kuk temple listed as a World Heritage Site is an announcement to the world which can attract more tourists to come and visit the country,” said Vandy. “We also have a new programme to turn the area into one of the most attractive tourism destinations in the country.”