October 27, 2010
The University of the Sunshine Coast in Queensland will help to develop the vision of the kingdom of Cambodia for a sustainable and responsible tourist industry.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) has been signed between the two at the Global Eco Asia-Pacific Tourism Conference in Noosa.
Sunshine Coast lecturer and researcher Gayle Mayes says Cambodia is very keen to have a university which can educate students in tourism and hospitality.
Advertisement: Story continues below The country also needs help in developing the skills and knowledge of people in its ministry of tourism, Dr Moyes says.
"They're also looking for assistance in strategic planning in tourism, and the training of tourism personnel in the industry," she told AAP on Wednesday.
"This relationship has been built over about a 12-month period and it began with the Cambodian minister for tourism bringing 13 of his staff to Australia."
Dr Mayes said the minister visited Noosa and realised the area was a fantastic model for sustainable and responsible tourism development.
Thok Sokhom from Cambodia's Department of International Cooperation and ASEAN said the MOU might be with a regional university, and it had national implications for both countries.
"If Australia helps us today, then we will help others in the future," he said.
"Every year the Australian government assists the development of Cambodia by over $100 million in major areas, but not yet in tourism, but from this MOU I believe the government of Australia will see the potential of tourism and the industry's potential role in climate-change mitigation.
"But in terms of capacity building and higher education the ministry of tourism relies heavily on our partners to achieve our goal of establishing a national university of tourism and hospitality in Cambodia."