PHNOM PENH, July 12 (Xinhua) -- The China National Tourism Administration (CNTA) promoted the "Beautiful China" campaign here on Wednesday evening, aimed at attracting more Cambodian tourists to China, officials said.
Head of the Chinese tourism delegation Zhang Xilong said 2017 is the year of tourism cooperation between China and the 10-country Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and China hopes to welcome more tourists from ASEAN including Cambodia.
"The event aims at showing the richness of China's tourism resources and products to Cambodian people," he said at the ceremony, which was attended by some 150 Cambodian tour operators and officials.
He said China is renowned for its cultural properties and natural heritage in combination with good hospitality and accommodation as well as delicious food.
Meanwhile, Zhang was confident that the tourism relations between China and Cambodia would be further deepened in the future under the Belt and Road Initiative proposed by China.
Charge d' affairs of the Chinese embassy to Cambodia Tan Qingsheng said tourism is a bridge to increase people-to-people bond and cultural exchange, and that China is ready to closely cooperate with ASEAN and Cambodia to further broaden tourism ties.
The "Beautiful China" campaign was held in Phnom Penh after it was successfully introduced in Bangkok, Thailand and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
"I believe that the event today will enable all of you to better understand China and to explore further opportunities for cooperation and investment in tourism between the two countries," he said.
Tan said tourism has been playing a vital role in contributing to deepening the strategic relations between China and ASEAN in general and between China and Cambodia in particular.
Cambodian Tourism Minister Thong Khon said the event was very useful to further enhance tourism cooperation between China and Cambodia.
He said China was the biggest source of foreign tourists to Cambodia. In the first five months of 2017, some 441,000 Chinese tourists visited Cambodia, up 35.6 percent over the same period last year.
The minister added that the country is expected to greet about one million Chinese tourists in 2017 and up to two million in 2020.
In his speech, Thong Khon praised the Belt and Road Initiative, saying it would boost the development of tourism in countries along the silk road, including ASEAN and Cambodia.
Chhay Sivlin, president of the Cambodia Association of Travel Agents, said the event opened a new chapter for tour operators in Cambodia to better understand China's culture and new attractive tourist destinations in addition to the Great Wall.
"Besides interesting tourist sites, China is famous for delicious food, effective traditional medicines, and good infrastructure for tourists' travel," she said.
She believed that through this event, Cambodian tour operators would organize more tour packages to China to contribute to the development of tourism cooperation between the two countries.