Home Tourism 1st Cambodia-India Tourism Year Launched in New Delhi

1st Cambodia-India Tourism Year Launched in New Delhi

The “1st Cambodia-India Tourism Year” was launched in New Delhi, India’s capital, on 17 June 2024. Long Phirum, the Secretary of State of the Cambodian Ministry of Tourism, and Manisha Saxena, Director General (tourism) of the Indian Ministry of Tourism, jointly launched the event amidst the beating of traditional inaugural drums. Both ministers addressed the gathering, which included various other ministers from the respective tourism ministries, businesspersons and tour operators. The event also celebrated the launch of the first direct flight between New Delhi and Phnom Penh by Cambodia’s national flag carrier, Cambodia Angkor Air, on 16 June with a frequency of four times a week.

Significant Milestone

Secretary Phirum described the “Cambodia-India Tourism Year 2024” as a significant milestone. Several dignitaries asserted that 2024 would mark a critical moment to boost tourism cooperation and cultural relations between countries. Smt. Manisha reiterated that 2024 would help highlight the shared history of India and Cambodia and bring economic opportunities for tourism businesses, thereby strengthening India-Cambodia relations. The launch of the Cambodia-India Tourism Year in the heart of the Indian capital indicates the deep-seated mutual respect between the two countries that will surely pave the way for fruitful cultural exchanges.

Direct Flight

The Embassy of India launched the first direct flight between India and Cambodia on 16 June 2024 with the Ministry of Tourism of Cambodia, the State Secretariat of Civil Aviation, and Cambodia Angkor Air. Daily flights between Phnom Penh and New Delhi will likely commence from October 2024. Till then, flights will operate only four times a week. The flight will enhance people-to-people ties and commercial relations between the two countries. Since 2002, India and Cambodia have established an Air Service Agreement. In September 2016, both sides signed an MoU to allow 3rd, 4th and 5th freedom traffic rights to airlines in Cambodia and India. On 15 February 2024, Cambodia Angkor Air was granted permission to operate daily flights between the two countries.

Tourism Relations

The event unfolded the impressive tourism exchanges between the two countries. Smt. Manisha acknowledged that the number of Cambodian tourists to India has gradually increased from 578 in 2021 to 8,000 in 2023. Similarly, only 600 Indians travelled to Cambodia in 2021, compared to 27,000 in 2023. She elaborated on India’s “Travel for LiFE” initiative under the “Misson for LiFE” campaign in 2021 that would help promote sustainable tourism. Secretary Phirum noted that the first three months of 2024 witnessed around 20,000 Indian tourists. She highlighted that the Cambodian tourism ministry had consistently organised events to promote sports, exhibitions, meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) tourism. Its “Build + 3Ds” is another effective mechanism to ensure successful national tourism strategies.

This landmark event in New Delhi witnessed the participation of Cambodian Ambassador Koy Kuong and Seila Hul, Under Secretary of State, Ministry of Tourism of Cambodia. Such an initiative would enable tourists to explore and appreciate the historical marvels of both countries, thereby promoting peace, mutual respect, diplomatic relations, and economic prosperity.