The inaugural “Cambodia-India Tourism Year” was launched in New Delhi on Monday, marking a significant step in strengthening tourism ties between the two nations. The event also celebrated the commencement of the first direct flight service by Cambodia Angkor Air between Phnom Penh and New Delhi, which began on June 16.

The launch ceremony was graced by Manisha Saxena, Director General (Tourism) from India’s Ministry of Tourism, and Long Phirum, Secretary of State from Cambodia’s Ministry of Tourism. The event saw the participation of government officials, tour operators, and business leaders from both countries.

In their addresses, Saxena and Phirum highlighted the importance of this initiative. Speaking in Cambodian, Phirum described the designation of 2024 as “Cambodia-India Tourism Year” as a “significant milestone” and celebrated the new direct air link between Phnom Penh and New Delhi.

Cambodia Angkor Air, the national carrier of Cambodia, has scheduled these direct flights four times a week—on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays. Many Cambodian delegates, including high-ranking officials, arrived in India on the inaugural flight.

The event in Delhi was attended by Cambodian Ambassador Koy Kuong and Seila Hul, Under Secretary of State, Ministry of Tourism of Cambodia. Saxena expressed optimism that the new flight service and the “Cambodia-India Tourism Year” would enable citizens of both countries to rediscover their shared heritage, boosting economic opportunities for tourism businesses and enhancing mutual prosperity and understanding.

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The ceremony underscored the historical ties between India and Cambodia, with references to the deep-rooted cultural and religious connections that span over a thousand years. Saxena noted Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s emphasis on these connections during the Cambodian Prime Minister’s visit to India in January 2018, where both leaders agreed to enhance connectivity and cooperation in tourism.A Memorandum of Understanding signed between India and Cambodia in 2015, along with the efforts of joint working groups, has laid a strong foundation for ongoing tourism cooperation. The fourth joint working group meeting, held in February 2024, focused on key areas such as information exchange on tourist arrivals, infrastructure development, training programs in tourism and hospitality, and exploring joint venture partnerships in the hotel industry.

The launch of the “Cambodia-India Tourism Year” and the new direct flight service symbolize a new era of collaboration, promising enhanced cultural exchange and economic growth for both countries.

  • Published On Jun 18, 2024 at 10:15 AM IST

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