Selected Comments Samdech Techo Hun Sen at the Celebration of the Fifth Clean City National Day in 2017 [Unofficial Translation]



Tourists Would Not Risk Their Lives to Come to Dangerous or War-Plagued Regions

I should remind about the fact that tourists would not take risk to come to dangerous or war-plagued regions. We had had experience on this issue from the past, and now what happened in other war-plagued regions, for instance the Middle East. It is in this understanding that keeping peace, maintaining political stability, fighting terrorism in Cambodia is important. I hope that everyone will make further efforts to cope with the prospect of growing number of tourists. I just wanted to have your attention that tourists would not risk their lives for danger or war. They would not like to breathe bad smells in cities and/or tourist sites. They certainly like to enjoy their visits and have good food.

Green Belt in Tourist Areas

I think we may want to add one more criteria into our criteria list of which city is the best in every contest. I think we must think about establishing a green belt or zone around the tourist areas. What is the green belt that I am talking? We have this concept long ago. The idea is to set up areas where people can grow vegetable, engage in animal husbandry, as much as they can, for supply to hotels. When we are talking about exporting, we should not understand it only to send things across the border. We have imported some five million tourists to hotels and restaurants. They are our target of exports too. If one tourist consumes a kilogram of rice, when he is in Cambodia, and eats various other things, our people can sell what they have. They export their products to them. These days, we are still using imported vegetable and meats from foreign countries for restaurants and hotels to serve tourists demands.

I think the Ministries of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Tourism and related institutions, should put out a goal to have a competition in supplying from green belt concept to serving tourists demand. The idea is to encourage people adjacent to tourist destinations to grow and provide more supply for tourist industry in their areas. One tourist would then entail many jobs of many people. There will be many prongs interactions – concerning people’s activities in agriculture, animal husbandry, markets, handcrafts and transportation, etc. We must think of new ideas and incorporate them into our measures list. We have discussed about encouraging hotels to use Cambodian products and Cambodian performance and decoration arts. There have been any contagious diseases our country, and we are lucky for it, that could be frightening to tourists. We took ample and timely-manner measures to prevent SARS and bird flu spread in the past.

Beware of Terrorist Threat

… That terrorism has not happened in Cambodia, and I hope we will continue to prevent it from happening, as I brought the issue up in the Ministry of Interior the other day, I have a difficulty in understanding why drug traveled from Latin America through various airports and caught up in Cambodia? One other incident was the fact that we have discovered and arrested a big amount of elephant ivory tusks and Rhino horns. I do not know how they reached us thorough various airports equipping with high-tech means. We should work together to fight against this ring. It is good that Cambodia got hold of them or hundreds of kilogram of drug would have ended somewhere.

Samraong of Uddar Meanjei – Worth the Prize

Talking about peace, I would have your attention if you see any tourists would go to Syria, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, or Central African Republic. Even our troops stationed there are on high alert. We must take high responsibility to attract tourists. I am satisfied with the fact that the committee has decided to offer the best prize to Samraong city of Uddar Meanjei. I think it is a correct decision. I spent a night there during my whole trip to that part of the country. Visiting various schools there, I found the city attractive and a smiling young town. I hope Uddar Meanjei will make effort to keep its rank […]

No Peace, No Rights

What we must do is to keep peace and security. They are majorly important for us to ensure progress in tourism. We may ask a question whether Cambodia just has Angkor Wat or it has been there long ago. It was here like a thousand years now. Why there were no tourists in the 1970s? It was because of war. In is in this understanding that we must keep peace. For anything other than that, we may discuss at a later stage. Anyone to destroy peace must face with a real punishment. We cannot overlook it. Some talk about rights of a few people and some never even talked about rights when their actions killed millions. What we have every day is real. The right is real, the right to life. It is not right to embark on anarchy. It is to destroy a nation. We recognize right, but not anarchic one. It must be right in the rule of law.

I hope that our foreign friends understand this matter clearly. Now it has happened to the US. The White House does not allow in the like of CNN and some other media. They may condemn Donald Trump as a dictator. However, in this case, he is right. Some people talk about only right and never bother about peace or political stability. Let me ask a question, if I may, whether there was any right under the regime of Pol Pot. Would a deceased one write articles for newspapers? Peace is what is all this about. If one fails to guarantee stability, one fails to keep everything, including the most basic right to life […]

A Drug-Free Cambodia Would Entice Tourists

We have agreed on this point. We just had the annual conference of the Ministry of Interior.  I talked about continuing to fight drugs so that tourists would not avoid Cambodia because of drug users or addicts. It would not be good for our country. I have advised that enticing tourists through propaganda is one thing but a far bigger issue is to get them to come back again with more friends or families. We get them to know about us through books and ads but that would not stand if they went back and blamed Cambodia as making them unhappy at points of entry, etc. Please remember that we have many countries to compete with on this issue. Cambodia is not the only country that inherits with heritages and good nature. Hospitality and better services will entice tourists […]

Making Tourist a Major Part That Drives Economic Growth

We must work hard to transform our tourism industry a major part in driving economic growth. In the 30% share of service sector, five percent of it is coming from tourism. We may see that in developed countries, service sector is taking the biggest share, followed by industry and then agriculture. In some countries, agriculture shared only one or two percent in their GDP. Service, tourism included, and industry are doing the bigger parts. However, the one percent contribution from agriculture guarantee self-sufficiency and some are able to even export. It does not mean they are food shortage or having problem with agriculture./.