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Phnom Penh all set for ASEAN Tourism Forum 2003

Travel News Asia 4 October 2002

Cambodia, one of the newer members of ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations), will be in the international tourism spotlight when the ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF) takes place in Phnom Penh from 20 to 28 January 2003. The event in Phnom Penh will be the 22nd anniversary of ATF since its inception in Malaysia in 1981 and the first time that ATF is being held in Indochina.

Aware of the value of tourism the worlds fastest-growing industry and its economic benefits, Cambodia is simultaneously launching Visit Cambodia Year 2003 with the theme of A World of Treasures. Playing host to ATF, the largest tourism event in the Southeast Asian region, is a good introduction for Cambodia, a country whose rich history and culture date back more than 10 centuries. 

The challenge for Cambodia is to put on a good show and underline its commitment to improve the tourist attractions and infrastructure in the country. As venue for the 8th ASEAN Summit this November, Phnom Penh, the Cambodian capital, will get valuable exposure and experience in handling international delegates and media. 

Preparations for ATF 2003 are already well underway. TRAVEX, the Travel Exchange or mart, is the main event and it will be staged at the National Cultural Centre (NCC). Extensive re-modelling will see the main hall converted to exhibition space with additional halls built to accommodate the number of people expected to attend 1,500 delegates including up to 350 hosted buyers and media.

TTG Asia Media, which has been appointed to organise and manage TRAVEX, has seen a good response in registration by both buyers and sellers. As at early September, about 90 per cent of exhibition space had already been booked.

Assuring visitors of Cambodias organisational ability, Senior Minister and Minister for Tourism Mr Veng Sereyvuth said: Cambodia is ready and committed. We will put in every effort to ensure that all ATF facilities and supporting services are of a high standard, to make sure your stay is a pleasant and fruitful one. We are actively involved with other government and community agencies as well as the private sector in coordinating this event. It is a national effort and one that we are proud of.

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