Selected Comments Samdech Moha Bovor Thipadei Hun Manet, at the 10th Sea Festival, 3rd Round, in Kep Province [Unofficial translations]



10th Sea Festival, 3rd round in 45 years after the establishment of the National United Front for Salvation of Kampuchea (NUFSK)

We have organized here the first celebration, as mentioned by His Excellency the Governor of Kep Province, during the 45 years after our country benefited from the establishment of the National United Front for Salvation of Kampuchea (NUFSK), later called the Solidarity Front for Development of the Cambodian Motherland (SFDCM) that gathers patriots to rise up and fight against the genocidal regime of Pol Pot, which led to the overthrow of the genocidal regime of Pol Pot on January 7, 1979, and 45 years later we are here (at the Sea Festival) five days (after) the celebration of the Royal Water Festival, floating lanterns, worshiping the moon, held in Phnom Penh and the provinces with nearly four million people in Phnom Penh, including tens of thousands of tourists from foreign countries […]

Nearly 500 booths break previous Sea Festival records

Today I decided to participate in both the opening and closing programs […] this year we set up nearly 500 booths that broke the previous record of the Sea Festival. I have met people who set up booths organized by ministries and coastal provinces. Last night, before the event takes place, in tents in front of the provincial hall, I met with people from Kampong Cham, Phnom Penh, Battambang who came to set up their products stands here […] together, in celebrating the event in a joyous atmosphere after we have been able to put Covid-19 under control, and removed (obstructions from it on all activities), we have jointly recovered in all areas, supporting national unity, cities and province alike, to celebrate and promote a happy spirit in this phase of peace […]


Cannot let the whole national economy depend only on one sector

In this sense, economic diversification is an important task, and we cannot put chicken eggs in one basket. If we put all the eggs in one basket, when the basket has a problem (all the eggs will break) and we have nothing to eat. The same is true in the national economy. We cannot leave our economy dependent on any one sector. In fact, during the time of Covid-19, the tourism sector was zero. We closed the flight from the outside. In the country, we also have to close the flight at some stages – there were no entry and/or exit, though at that stage, some sectors were still functioning, take for example, agriculture. Flow of commercial and industrial products was still functioning. After the Covid-19, we came facing with global inflation. The crises of war in Europe and the Middle East have affected the growth of some sectors, such as industry and some exports. Gradually we see that the potential of tourism has revived […]

Domestic tourism fills gaps in the Covid-19 phase

In the forum with the private sector, I put forward some sharp measures to promote tourism […] although we have made 2024 the year to visit Siem Reap, it does not mean that that we care only about tourism in Siem Reap. Speaking of tourism is to think of tourism as a whole – not only for tourists from abroad, we also need to think about domestic tourists. We see that domestic tourism is very important. In the Covid-19 phase, when we did not open for flights from abroad, domestic tourism played an important role in filling up gaps. By inquiry, some Cambodians came to know Cambodia well during the Covid-19 phase. They traveled all over the country at that time […] in fact, this evening, (we recorded the figures of) more than 120,000 tourists, most of whom are domestic tourists […]

Production and consumption of domestic tourism products differs from production in various other sectors

Kep, Sihanoukville and Koh Kong are provinces with potential for tourism. Economic diversification is important and tourism is what we care about […] firstly, the production and consumption of domestic tourism products is different from production (in various other sectors). For example, in industry, we can make clothes and take them abroad. But tourism products are made in the country and are for the consumption in the country. We cannot make a restaurant in Kep and pack this restaurant to Mondulkiri […] (tourism products here) are for people to run to the products. This is a potential […]

Growth in tourism can turn into dynamic or interactive with many sectors

Second, the growth of tourism can turn into the potential of many other sectors […] I already set in principles at the meeting (between the government and the private sector) for all coastal provinces to strengthen the green belt […] which means to strengthen activities and production development to support tourism in those provinces. We try to reduce (importing) products (from elsewhere) or try to get farmers, fishermen to become suppliers in those provinces (adjacent) to the sea […] we can do the same for handycraft. In the tourist area of Kep and Siem Reap, we can promote those surrounding areas or nearby to produce souvenirs and materials that help the tourism sector […] the Royal Government of the 7th legislature is promoting and setting as a priority goal that will drive economic growth in all areas and that will increase employment, reduce poverty effectively and sustainably […]

Tourism plays a role in contributing to national reputation

Third, the promotion of the nation’s reputation is also an important role through tourism. Indeed, the Ministry of Tourism, the Royal Government and the Ministry of Commerce have gone abroad to promote various exhibitions. Many foreigners have seen our booths in various countries. We have a Khmer saying that goes – “hearing a hundred times is not the same as seeing once.” Attracting tourists from abroad, or attracting tourists from other provinces to Kep, or attracting tourists from other provinces in the country to the Northeast, which was previously thought to be isolated, undeveloped areas, seeing the bridges over the Sekong or the Mekong Rivers, roads connectivity would once be more valuable than talking or looking at pictures […]

Tourism creates jobs, reduces poverty and promotes Cambodia as a country with civilization, culture, and long history

Raising the nation’s reputation creates interest as well as the trust of the people, especially in a situation like Cambodia, which has a history of war and instability (is a necessary task) […] providing information of the reality is important but having come to witness with their own eyes is even more so. This is the potential of tourism that we must promote, because tourism not only boosts the economy, creates jobs for the people, reduces poverty, but also promotes the people of the world about Cambodia as a civilized country, great culture, long history, and attracts and reassures both tourists and investments […]

Diversifying tourism products beyond temples

Economic diversification refers to the development of various sectors, and in tourism and each sector, we need to talk about diversification too. What symbolizes the nation is Angkor Wat. Most people know Angkor Wat. Recently, we have included Koh Ker, and some other temples in the list of World Heritages, and have done a lot of promotions. But to attract more tourists, we can not only have temples. We need to have many attracting activities […] recently in Cambodia, we have organized events such as the Water Festival, Sankranti, River Festival, and Sea Festival that we are organizing today. This morning, at Angkor Wat, Senior Minister Thong Khon (said that) the Olympic Committee successfully organized the 28th Marathon, attended by more than 10,000 people and nearly 4,000 athletes are from abroad […] we have four provinces bordering with sea, even the people in Phnom Penh wanted to visit, and swap their trips between Kampot and Kampong Som/Sihanoukville, and here in Kep. If they  comes to Kep, we must have many products for them to choose from […]

100 days of efforts to sustain the cause of the previous government to develop the economy and livelihood of people in all sectors

(The sea festival) today is symbolic of the organization of the new government in the field of tourism […] it is 103 days today, but we round down the number to 100 days of efforts […] to continue the cause of the previous government’s efforts to develop the economy and livelihood of people in all sectors. In the field of tourism, Minister of Tourism, HE Sok Soken, who takes over the leadership from Senior Minister HE Thong Khon, former Minister (of Tourism) and who has built many achievements. HE Sok Soken talks less but do more. There is not very much the talk of the town, but he always pay a visit here and there like the community of Kampong Phluk, Tonle Sap Lake, Siem Reap and Kep to work directly, make direct plans with officials in the relevant ministries, institutions and departments. Samdech Techo (Hun Sen, the former Prime Minister,) always advised officials not to be a “10-legged officials, but 2-legged officials”. During these 100 days, the Ministry of Tourism confirmed that they are the two-legged officials who are taking the field works everywhere […]

Organizing coastal areas in the four provinces as attractive and diverse global tourism destinations, promote resilience and economic growth of Cambodia on the principle of “tourism in connection with land and nature”

Organizing Cambodia’s coastal areas in the four provinces – Sihanoukville, Kampot, Kep and Koh Kong, which we have dubbed the “rising stars of the Southwest,” to become a leading global tourist destination with a wide range of attractions, contributing to the promotion of Cambodia’s economic resilience and growth based on the fundamental principle of “tourism in connection with land and nature.” In this effort, to organize the sea festival on this occasion is very important. I would take this opportunity to commend His Excellency Dr. Som Piseth, as well as the leadership of the Board of Governors of Kep Province, who have worked hard to build and develop Kep in all areas, especially the beauty and environment in Kep Province that have won a series of national and regional awards […]

We need to get together. My presence alone is nothing major. It is important that hundreds of thousands of people come here with the leadership to see the actual development, and especially the benefits that Kep has received from the development, which is what we want for every province. The benefit is to distribute the benefits to the local people. The organization of this 2,700-meter beach, after this event is over, will be turned into a public interest. A master plan has been drawn up for the 2,700-meter coastal line to provide public parks and spaces, and there must not be any cut off (for other purposes) […]

(14) The master plan – both short and long-term – of the four coastal provinces to be completed by 2024

I will provide some principles. For Kep, we have a master plan for tourism development in 2023-2035, which sets out the vision of turning Kep into a natural and marine tourism destination for high-level recreation. I would like the Capital/Provincial Board of Governers and the National Committee for Coastal Development and Management to prepare a master plan for the four coastal provinces, including the development of Sihanoukville into a multi-purpose province. We are now connecting the three other provinces in the master plan, and hoping to finish it in 2024. Why build a master plan? In order to maintain the value of potential in each place as much as possible, not only the short-term benefits, but to maintain (benefits) for a long time (to come). This is our main principle […]

Our four provinces, if combined, are not that big. We have a potential beach, a port, a multi-purpose tourism and a variety of destinations. The master plan ensures that development is clearly planned and that the four provinces do not compete with each other, but supports each other to create a coastal line that mobilizes its forces to boost the Kingdom’s coastal potential […] what kind the potential each one has so that we are able to direct investment and development. Which province has what potential we will prepare a master plan to help achieve that development […]

Slowly but orderly, with plan and vision, we can walk a long way …

Kep province, which has potential for eco-tourism as well as potential for tourism development and production of some tourism products, must consider ensuring long-term value rather than value for short-term profit. Experiences from many countries shows that some places develop so fast that they are out of control in the long run. Harvest only 10 to 20 years, the potential is gone. So we have to make sure that the evolution of the nation, even sometimes a little slow but is steadily moving. What does that mean? It meant walking slowly but in an orderly manner. Walking too fast would lead to clashes […] let us walk slowly but orderly, with a plan, with a vision and with clear cooperation. We can walk long distances without getting tired because of having to solve problems resulting from our rush. That is why the four provincial master plans must be prepared and implemented so that we can ensure long-term progresses […]


Phnom Voar, Kep Province, transformed from a lethal battle field to a development zone

As long as I talk about peace, some circles always accuse me (of taking a position or leadership style as dictator) and deceive the people that war can never happen again. Go back, if you can, ask our ancestors from 500 years (before). Ask your grandparents who are still present and who were born before 1970. Did they in the 1960s think that in 1970, the country would have a war? Probably not. Nor does anyone want (war) to happen again. Yesterday I came to Kep by helicopter through Phnom Voar, which is a very important former battlefield. I saw many mango plantations and pepper plantations. Visiting yesterday’s booth, I noticed the pepper grown on Phnom Voar of Kampot province. It has not been renamed to the product of Kep yet. It had turned from a war zone into a development zone. I once rode through a railroad track where in 1994, three tourists – the French, British and Australian, were captured from the railway line and killed by the Khmer Rouge at the foot of the mountain nearby. If there is no peace, no one can talk about making a trip from Phnom Penh to visit Kep, and return in the evening. It would not be safe not only Cambodians but even foreign tourists cannot survive. This presence of peace must be maintained throughout our territory […]./.


“Cambodia, Canada established bilateral consultations to forge closer cooperatio...

His Excellency CHUM Sounry, Secretary of State of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, had a fruitful discussion with His Excellency ALAN Bowman,