The Philippines is seeking to strengthen its tourism ties with Cambodia, as disclosed during a bilateral meeting between Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco of the Philippines and her Cambodian counterpart, Dr. Thong Khon. The meeting took place on June 15, 2023, alongside the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Commission discussions held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
Secretary Frasco noted the potential areas for collaboration between the two countries, particularly in heritage conservation, management, and monitoring. Cambodia’s success in these areas, with its three UNESCO World Heritage Sites, is of special interest to the Philippines.
The Philippines’ strength in Education Tourism, especially its English as a Second Language (ESL) program, was also highlighted during the meeting. Secretary Frasco expressed a desire to cooperate with Cambodia on these fronts, along with the possibility of exploring joint ventures in medical tourism.
The officials agreed on the importance of prioritizing air access and route development to facilitate easier travel between the two countries.
The dialogue also included discussions about renewing a Memorandum of Understanding on tourism cooperation signed by the Philippines and Cambodia in 2016. The Philippines formally accepted Cambodia’s proposal to renew the agreement during the meeting, a move welcomed by Minister Khon.
Finally, Secretary Frasco expressed gratitude for the hospitality extended to over 7000 Filipinos living in Cambodia and voiced hopes of increasing Cambodian tourist arrivals in the Philippines following the implementation of the renewed cooperation program.