TEMPO.CO, Phnom Penh - The Cambodian government and the country's tourism industry are developing halal tourism to lure tourists from Southeast Asia and the Middle East. The Indonesian Embassy in Cambodia on Thursday, October 12, said that a number of investors were developing halal tourism in the country.
Cambodia, known for its tourist attractions in the form of temples, is home to the Champa village—a Muslim residential area.
The First Secretary of the Indonesian Embassy in Phnom Penh, Avi Dewani Sari Harahap, said that tourists from Malaysia and the Middle East flocked to Cambodia during Eid-al-Adha celebrations. “There are also many restaurants that develop halal tourism here,” Avi said.
The tourism industry in Cambodia contributes around 30 percent to Cambodia’s GDP and employs some 650,000 people.
According to reports of the Cambodian Ministry of Tourism, the number of inbound tourists in 2017 amounted to 5.6 million with a total state revenue of 3.63 billion US dollars—an increase by 12.3 percent compared to that of 2016. The Cambodian government is upbeat it can attract 7 million foreign tourists in 2020.
The number of Cambodia’s outbound tourists in 2017, meanwhile, reached 1.75 million people, rising by 22.2 percent compared to that of 2016.
The First Secretary of the Indonesian Embassy in Phnom Penh, Made Santi Ratnasari, said of the figure only around 6,000 people visited Indonesia. “While the number of Indonesian tourists visiting Cambodia reached around 40,000 people,” she said.
The Deputy Assistant of Regional Marketing Development I Regional I of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Masruroh Budi Suyanto, said the development of halal tourism and attracting tourists from Cambodia would require serious committment by all stakeholders. “We have great potential in the development of halal tourism,” he said.