Du Jiang (L front), head of the Chinese delegation, and Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister Hor Namhong (R front) attend the first high-level Cambodia-China Tourism Forum in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, on May 17, 2018. The first high-level Cambodia-China Tourism Forum was held here on Thursday, aiming at exploring opportunities to further promote tourism ties between the two countries. (Xinhua/Mao Pengfei)
PHNOM PENH, May 17 (Xinhua) -- The first high-level Cambodia-China Tourism Forum was held here on Thursday, aiming at exploring opportunities to further promote tourism ties between the two countries.
Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister Hor Namhong said Cambodia-China tourism cooperation, especially under the Belt and Road Initiative, was crucial to enhance people-to- people exchanges and deepen communication and understanding between the two peoples.
"Under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative, we will continue to work together to further open for infrastructure connectivity, trade, investment, and travel facilitation," he said.
Namhong said as the world's second largest economy, China had importantly contributed to the global economy in the last two decades, adding that the development of China was the pride of Asia in the 21st century.
Co-organized by Cambodian Ministry of Tourism and China's Ministry of Culture and Tourism, the half-day forum attracted about 400 participants from the two countries.
He said that during the first three months of 2018, Cambodia welcomed more than 1.7 million foreign tourists, up 13.9 percent year-on-year, of whom more than 500,000 were Chinese tourists, up 85 percent.
"It is projected that Cambodia will get 6.2 million international arrivals in 2018 and over 7 million in 2020," he said, adding that the Southeast Asian nation is expected to attract at least 2 million Chinese tourists by 2020.
Du Jiang, head of the Chinese delegation, said the forum was held in the year that Cambodia and China were celebrating the 60th anniversary of the diplomatic relations.
"With our joint efforts, I strongly believe that the tourism cooperation between our two countries will be further enhanced," he said.
Chinese Ambassador to Cambodia Xiong Bo said China had always paid high attention to strengthening tourism cooperation with Cambodia because the cooperation was vital to promote people-to-people exchanges and enhance friendly relations between the two countries.