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First Cambodia-India Tourism Year Launched in New Delhi

First Cambodia-India Tourism Year Launched in New Delhi The ceremony also celebrated the inaugural direct flight service between Phnom Penh and New Delhi .

The ‘1st Cambodia-India Tourism Year’ was inaugurated in New Delhi on Monday. The ceremony also celebrated the inaugural direct flight service by Cambodia Angkor Air between Phnom Penh and New Delhi, which commenced a day prior. The launch was officiated by Manisha Saxena, Director General (Tourism), Ministry of Tourism of India and Long Phirum, Secretary of State, Ministry of Tourism of Cambodia.

In their addresses to an audience that included government officials, tour operators from both countries, and Indian business people, Saxena and Phirum emphasized the importance of this initiative. Speaking in Cambodian, Phirum highlighted the designation of 2024 as ‘Cambodia-India Tourism Year’ as a “significant milestone.” She also noted the celebration in Phnom Penh of the new direct air link between the two capitals.

Cambodia Angkor Air, Cambodia’s national carrier, began its first direct flights between Phnom Penh and New Delhi on June 16. These flights are scheduled four times a week – on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays. Many Cambodian delegates arrived in India on this inaugural flight.

The event in Delhi was also attended by Cambodian Ambassador Koy Kuong and Seila Hul, Under Secretary of State, Ministry of Tourism of Cambodia.

Manisha Saxena expressed optimism that the new flight and the ‘Cambodia-India Tourism Year’ will facilitate citizens of both countries in rediscovering their common heritage. She believes it will boost economic opportunities for tourism businesses and enhance mutual prosperity and understanding.

The historical ties between India and Cambodia were highlighted during the event, with references to the deep-rooted cultural and religious connections spanning over a thousand years. “Prime Minister Narendra Modi has emphasized the importance of these connections on several occasions, including during the Cambodian Prime Minister’s visit to India in January 2018, where both leaders agreed to enhance connectivity and cooperation in tourism,” Saxena said.

The Memorandum of Understanding signed between India and Cambodia in 2015 and the work of joint working groups have laid a strong foundation for ongoing cooperation in tourism. The fourth joint working group meeting held in February 2024 exemplifies this commitment, focusing 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.

Dr. Mohan Gunti, a Cambodia-based Tourism Advisor, highlighted the significance of this year for the travel and tourism sector between Cambodia and India. “This year marks a turning point for the travel and tourism sector between Cambodia and India,” he stated, referring to the launch ceremony of the 1st Cambodia – India Tourism Year 2024. He emphasised, “This is the beginning of a success story. Tourism is one of the four pillars of Cambodia’s economy.”
“Now we have a direct connectivity between Cambodia and India, thus giving more opportunities between the two nations, which we know has the capacity to unlock growth and serve communities through economic and social transformation,” he said. He described it as “a direct gateway between people-to-people and business investment opportunities.”
He expressed optimism about the new flight route, calling it “poised for success.” He praised Cambodia Angkor Air, the sole national flag carrier, for its role in promoting tourism and socio-economic development by launching this new route. “This connection will not only boost tourism and trade but also foster deeper cultural and economic relations,” he added. Furthermore, Dr. Gunti highlighted the potential for developing medical tourism, noting that it will “provide better access to high-quality and affordable medical treatments in India.”



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