Over recent years, Cambodia has seen a steady increase in holidaymakers, drawn to the country by its cultural heritage, ancient temples, jungles and pristine beaches.
This month Cambodia plays host to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations’ Tourist Forum, a conference called by ASEAN’s 10 members plus China, Korea, Japan and Russia.
The event was attended by several politicians and more than 1,500 travel sector professionals.
Cambodia Prime Mnister Hun Sen said: “Tourism is acclaimed as the green gold in fostering socio economic development and poverty alleviation as well as contributing to the development of the green economy.”
That is the challenge for Cambodia and the region which is working hard to shake off a reputation as a haven for sex tourists.
Despite the economic crisis, tourism in South East Asia rose by 10 per cent last year, to more than 65 million visitors. Cambodia itself saw two and half million foreign visitors and seven million domestic tourists – a rise of seven per cent on the previous year.