The Cambodian economy is small compared with some of its neighbours, but it has been growing rapidly in recent years. Agriculture, textile and tourism are the biggest economic sectors. Cambodia has succeeded in carving out a niche for itself and benefits of its status of LDC for exports. Other up-and-coming industries in Cambodia include mineral exploitation and oil and gas exploration.
Tourism is the second largest economic sector and accounts for around 20% of GDP; in 2010 two and a half million international arrivals were recorded, to which a surging domestic tourism of seven and a half millions domestic tourists can be added.The Royal Government of Cambodia strongly supports the growth of the tourism sector in Cambodia. Tourism investment is positively encouraged throughout the country.
With a good network of national parks, the more remote areas of Cambodia have potential for ecotourism which the Ministry of Tourism plans to encourage in cooperation with international conservation organisations. Most people are also drawn by Cambodia’s rich cultural heritage.
Ancient temples dot the landscape and have the potential to encourage visitors to book longer stays. Living culture in the form of Cambodian dance, music and arts is also staging a strong comeback, which the government supports.
Cambodia hosts a wide spectrum of organisations working with the Cambodian government to alleviate poverty. The Cambodian government supports the initiatives of pro-poor tourism, which seeks to channel the benefits of tourism to poor communities in the Kingdom. Sustainable tourism can bring many benefits to the people of Cambodia and the government fully supports responsible tourism initiatives throughout the country.
‘The Most Beautiful Bay In The World’ Club gathered in January 2011 in Cargèse (Corsica), France to officially confirm the admission of the Bay of Cambodia to this prestigious fraternity. The Kingdom of Cambodia is recognised the world over not only for the magnificent Angkor Wat and the hundreds of ancient temples, but now the beaches are also classed as world class attractions.
The Ministry of Tourism in Cambodia supports the preservation and conservation of the great Tonle Sap Lake’s natural resources and biodiversity, through the Master Plan for Sustainable Tourism Development in the Tonle Sap Lake and Peri-Zone. They are also working with a number of partners to encourage studies and research to ensure a sustainable and responsible development of tourism in the Tonle Sap Lake and its peri-zone, through the Learning Laboratory for Tourism Sustainability.