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Cambodia wants renewal of tourism pact with PH

June 19, 2023 Cristina Lee-Pisco 198 views

THE Philippines is expecting an increased number of visitors from Cambodia after Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia-Frasco formally conveyed Manila’s acceptance of Cambodian Govenment’s desire to renew its tourism cooperation agreement with the country.

This, when Frasco and Cambodian Tourism Minister Dr. Thong Khon engaged in a bilateral meeting on June 15, 2023 on the sidelines of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Commission meetings and discussion held in the capital of Cambodia.

Noting that the Kingdom of Cambodia is a vital partner for tourism development for the Philippines, Frasco broached possible areas of collaboration particularly in the aspect of heritage conservation, management, and monitoring. Cambodia is known for its three sites inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

“We greatly value the long-standing relationship between the Kingdom of Cambodia and the Republic of the Philippines as we welcome sixty-six years of our diplomatic relations. At the same time, we commend the Kingdom of Cambodia for your great success especially in terms of heritage conservation and management, and your ability to, on one hand, develop the tourism industry upon the strength of your heritage sites and all the other hand, ensure sustainability. Therefore, the Philippines is very interested in collaborating with Cambodia for purposes of developing joint efforts and exchange of best practices as far as heritage conservation and management.” said Frasco.

During the meeting, the tourism chief underscored the strength of the Philippines in Education Tourism, particularly, its English as a Second Language (ESL) program.

“We also recognize the great strides with which you had implemented the ASEAN -Mutual Recognition Arrangement on Tourism Professionals (MRA-TP) and we compliment the efforts you have made in upskilling your tourism workers. This is a priority as well for the Philippine government; therefore, we would be interested in exploring how we can work together in further developing our tourism manpower. In addition to that, we would be very happy to work with you as far as our ESL program,” said the tourism chief.

“The Philippines has a very strong faculty for the English language, and we have a well-developed ESL program in the country. This is something we would love to be able to work with you on even as we are also interested in exploring how we may be able to work together in terms of medical tourism,” added Frasco.

The two ministers agreed on the need to prioritize air access and route development between the two countries.

In 2016, the Philippines signed an implementation program for tourism cooperation Memorandum of Understanding with Cambodia.

“As I understand, Cambodia is host to over 7000 Filipinos and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for the warmth and the love with which you have received the Filipino people. The same treatment awaits you and the people of Cambodia whose tourists numbers we hope to be able to grow with the signing of our implementation program,” said Frasco.