Cambodian PM Says Peace Most Significant Element for Development

Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen on Saturday called on countries to maintain the presence of permanent peace, saying that it is the “most significant element” for the development of all nations in the world.

Hun Sen made the appeal in a speech at Preah Sihanouk during the opening ceremony of the 16th World Congress of the Most Beautiful Bays in the World-Bays Club, which was attended by about 130 delegates representing 34 bays from 21 countries and regions.

“No tourist risks travelling to a country at war,” he said. “Peace has played a pivotal role for national development, and has built a strong hope for our people.”

Hun Sen said with the presence of peace and successful control of the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of foreign tourists to Cambodia is expected to reach the pre-pandemic level in 2026 or 2027.

“We expect to be able to receive around 11 million domestic tourists in 2023…and around 7 million international tourists until 2026 or 2027,” he said.

In the pre-pandemic era, the Southeast Asian nation recorded 6.6 million international tourists in 2019, generating a total revenue of 4.92 billion U.S. dollars.

Tourism is one of the four major pillars supporting Cambodia’s economy. The country is well-known for its world heritage sites including the Angkor Archaeological Park in Siem Reap province.

Besides, it has a 450-km pristine coastline stretching across four southwestern provinces, namely Preah Sihanouk, Kep, Kampot and Koh Kong.