THE MINISTER OF TOURISM
On behalf of the Ministry of Tourism of the Kingdom of Cambodia, I am pleased to extend a warm welcome to all visitors to Cambodia.
In light of the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, the year 2023 has marked a significant recovery for the tourism industry, not only in Cambodia but also globally. However, it holds an even greater significance for Cambodia as we eagerly awaited this year to host the 32nd Southeast Asia Games and the 12th ASEAN Para Games, both of which were successfully held in May and June. Capitalizing on this opportunity, the Royal Government of Cambodia launched the "Visit Cambodia Year 2023" campaign with the theme "Every Day is A Wonder," aiming to enhance Cambodia's competitive advantage during this period.
Cambodia has emerged as one of the fastest-growing tourist destinations in Southeast Asia, owing to our rich cultural heritage and abundant natural resources. Travelers from around the world are captivated by our country's cultural, eco, and sports tourism offerings. Our land is home to globally renowned archaeological sites such as the majestic Angkor Wat, Preah Vihear, Sambor Prey Kuk, and Koh Ker. All four of these sites have been recognized as UNESCO World Heritage Sites, with Koh Ker being the newest addition in 2023. These sites stand as a testament to our nation's cultural legacy, showcasing intricate carvings, sculptures, and murals that vividly depict the captivating stories of ancient civilizations and an impressive number of spectacular temples.
Beyond our temples and cultural landmarks, Cambodia's natural beauty is simply breathtaking. Our country is renowned for its picturesque coastal areas and stunning waterfalls, offering visitors a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life. We invite you to explore the pristine beaches of Koh Rong Sanloem and Kep, where you can bask in the sun and relish the crystal-clear waters. But that's not all – Cambodia's natural resources also encompass the Mekong River and the Tonle Sap Lake, which are integral components of our country's ecosystem. These waterways are teeming with a remarkable array of flora and fauna, providing a unique opportunity for visitors to immerse themselves in Cambodia's natural beauty. Moreover, the Mekong River serves as a source of inspiration for Cambodian cuisine, featuring a delightful variety of freshwater fish dishes that are sure to tantalize your taste buds.
Yet, what truly distinguishes Cambodia is the warmth and genuine hospitality of its people. We take great pride in our culture of hospitality and extend a warm welcome to all visitors. I encourage you to experience the warmth and hospitality of our local communities through community-based tourism, where you can engage with locals, learn about their traditions, and support sustainable development initiatives that empower and uplift these communities. Our people are eager to share their stories and traditions with you, ensuring that your journey in Cambodia becomes an unforgettable experience.
Within our capital city, Phnom Penh, also known as the pearl of Asia and a vibrant hub of entertainment, commerce, politics, and tourism, lies a remarkable tale of urban resilience. This city has triumphantly risen from the ashes, impressively rebuilt after the ravages of war. Among its notable landmarks is the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, the solemn testament to the dark chapter of the Khmer Rouge regime. This poignant site serves as a reminder of history's sorrows, urging its visitors to become bearers of peace. This remarkable capital also captivates all who venture within its borders with its picturesque riverside promenade, a captivating convergence of four majestic rivers. Here, one can embark on a boat journey to explore the resplendent Royal Palace, adorned with its gleaming splendor, as well as a myriad of temples, vibrant local markets, and an abundance of other enchanting attractions.
Given Cambodia's tremendous potential, coupled with our safe, clean, and friendly environment, which aligns with our competitive slogan "Clean City, Clean Resort, Good Service and Best Hospitality," I am confident that you will find Cambodia to be an exciting, mesmerizing, intriguing, and interesting destination.
Wishing you a delightful and memorable sojourn in Cambodia.
H.E. SOK Soken
Minister of Tourism