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H.E Dr. THONG KHON on Consultative Seminar on Supporting Mechanism Establishment for “One Tourist, One Tree”

Speech by
H.E Dr. THONG KHON, Minister of Tourism, and
President of the National Committee for Clean City Assessment
Consultative Seminar on Supporting Mechanism Establishment
for One Tourist, One Tree”
January 15, 2013, PhnomPenh Hotel

- Excellencies, Lok Chumteavs, Ladies and Gentlemen!

Today, I am greatly honored and pleased to attend with Excellencies, Lok Chumteavs, Ladies and Gentlemen today’s significant Consultative Seminar on Supporting Mechanism Establisment for ”One Tourist, One Tree”.

On this occasion, on behalf of the Ministry of Tourism, and on my own behalf, I would like to voice my profound thanks to Excellecies, Lok Chumteavs, Ladies and Gentlemen, members of the National Committee for Clean City Assessment, representatives of relevant ministries, members of the Union of Youth Federations of Cambodia, tourist associations, tour operators, tourist communities, professors, and lovely students for spending their invaluable time to participate in this seminar.

The organization of the Consultative Seminar is to implement the sound recommendation of Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo HUN SEN, delivered at the official launching of ”Clean City Contest Movement” on February 27, 2012, proposing encouraging enough green areas along each city through promoting the campaign of tree planting under the theme of ”Tree Planting Starts from You” or ”One Tourist, One Tree” which requires the Ministry of Tourism, National Committee for Clean City Assessment in collaboration with relevant ministries-institutions, private sector, national-international organizations to set up related mechanisms and regulations for being a basis of making this campaign  smooth, successful, and sustainable. In this sense, from the outset of this campaign we shall be able to set up the programs ”One Tourist, One Tree”, ”A Couple, Two Trees”, ”One Youth, One Tree”, ”One Babe, One Tree”, etc.

-Excellencies, Lok Chumteavs, Ladies and Gentlemen!

Under the sound and brilliant leadership of Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo HUN SEN, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia, Cambodia has fully peace, security, and the development of all sectors. Namely, tourism sector has remarkably developed over the period of this last decade.  

In the past 2012, Cambodia received about 3.5 international tourists at the growth rate of 21% compared to 2011, and approximately 8 million domestic tourists (at the growth rate of 14%), bringing about $ 2 billion revenue (Equivalent to 12% of GDP) into Cambodian economy and creating approximately 350000 direct jobs. And the Siem Reap-Angkor area received about 2 million international tourists, equivalent to 57% of total number, increased by 26% compared to 2011, while Phnom Penh and other areas received approximately 1.5 million international tourists, equivalent to 43%, increased by 31% compared to 2011.

Following the forecasts for 2013, Cambodia will receive about 4 million international tourists, 4.5 million in 2015, and 7 million in 2020 with US$ 5 billion revenue and creating approximately 80 million direct jobs.

-Excellencies, Lok Chumteavs, Ladies and Gentlemen!

Along with the rapid growth of tourists’ flow in the world (the world’s tourists will reach up to 1000 million in 2012) as into the Kingdom of Cambodia, we must have a best-laid and strict tourism management plan, requiring for high attention from relevant stakeholders which includes the development of other cities as Eco cities, and Eco-friendly facilities such as the development and improvement of environmentally friendly means i.e. Cyclo, pedestrian lanes…etc. These are taken into consideration in order to efficiently respond to the current needs and trends of the tourists,  particularly ensure the sustainable development and contribute to poverty eradication, while certain of UNTWO-recognized studies shows that:    

  • The tourists’ travelling choice is even more environmentally friendly.
  • Approximately 34% of travelers dare to pay higher than usual for staying along the environmentally friendly hotels.
  • About 52% of travelers booked the company consisting of tourism professional codes of conduct and ethic, which ensures the environmental preservation or their employees’ better working condition or local community development, etc.

Actually, the attention has also been reflected through the current tourist trends, while the whole world has been stepping forwards the Green Era. Namely, the green concept is very basically important. The Green and Clean Development Model is a wise and proper choice at present, through ensuring the socio-economic, environmental sustainability and balance, particularly the green tourism development is the perfect and wisest choice for tourism development.  It is certain that the green tourism is a travel and use of resources serving the responsible tourism development, especially ensuring minimizing the negative impact on natural and cultural tourism.

-Excellencies, Lok Chumteavs, Ladies and Gentlemen!

In order for the contribution to the green tourism development in Cambodia, the Royal Government of Cambodia has set forth the competitive movement “Clean City, Clean Resort, Good Service” to be aimed at making Cambodia become a beautiful tourist destination with cleanliness and greenness. And, presently we have the Clean City Standard (consisting of 7 basic indicators, divided into 33 detailed indicators and 77 criteria for scoring the city candidates). The works of arrangement and management on environment, cleanliness, waste management, awareness raising, green areas, health safety, urban security and orders, tourist infrastructure and facilities are mostly the major topics to be used for assessing and scoring the city candidates. Particularly, the campaign of “One Tourist, One Tree” has been set forth with the following main aims of:

  1. Contributing to the green tourism development in Cambodia through encouraging the activity of tree planting to be turned into a new experiential and memory tourist product. It is noticeable that the international tourists increased up to 1 billion as the World Tourism Organization defined “1 Billion Tourists, 1 Billion Opportunities” as they have trends in charting the new opportunities to provide and take advantages towards their travel.
  2. Making a contribution to mitigating the climate change, global warming, and preventing against natural disasters, including floods, storms, etc, whereby the campaign is in line with the UNEP’s campaign of “The Billion, Tree Campaign”.
  3. Turning the campaign into an efficient Cambodian green tourism promotional mechanism (As if one tourist plants one tree, he will pass it on to his family, friends, and it will lead him to make repeat visits in Cambodia as a group in the future, which will contribute to the repeat tourist policy).
  4. The “One Tourist, One Tree” campaign is the attractive product for Cambodian people, youth, and students and it is a key movement to push Domestic Tourism.  Therefore, National Committee for Clean City Assessment in association with Ministry of Youth and Sport, and the Union of Youth Federations of Cambodia organize the schedule for pupils, students and youth to plant trees at their schools, universities and institutions.

Along with this, in order to make this campaign successful, efficient, it also requires a proper implementation mechanism, whereby this seminar is an important gathering for all of us to make discussions and promotion, additionally put into operation the campaign of “One Tourist, One Tree” following the sound recommendation of Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo HUN SEN, delivered at the official launching of “the Clean City Contest Movement” on February 27, 2012.

Before concluding my speech, I would like all relevant ministries-institutions, authorities, Apsara Authority, provincial authorities, national-international organizations, private sector, tour operators, members of the Union of Youth Federations of Cambodia, training establishments to kindly make cooperation in encouraging and participating in the campaign of “One Tourist, One Tree” with highly responsible spirits to move forwards the sustainable development, contributing to the people’s poverty alleviation and green economic development in Cambodia for the sake of all of us at present and next generation. Apart from, we plan to hold an official launching of this campaign on the occasion of “National Clean City Day” on February 27, 2013.

Finally, May I wish  Excellencies, Ladies, Gentlemen, and the whole participants the four gens of Buddhist blessings: Longevity, Nobility, Health and Strength.

May I declare this consultative seminar from now onwards. 

Thank You!