Cambodia's national flag carrier airline Cambodia Angkor Air is joining forces with the Royal Academy of Cambodia (RAC) to boost tourism and trade with Zhengzhou, Henan province, China.

The partnership aims to rejuvenate the flow of tourists between the two nations following the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic.

On August 27, RAC president Sok Touch revealed from Zhengzhou his four-day visit via Cambodia Angkor Air.

During the trip, RAC plans to coordinate a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between their Chinese counterparts and the airline.

This is to strengthen Cambodian aviation connections and start direct flights between Zhengzhou and Cambodia.

“I met Henan provincial authorities on August 27 to discuss a MoU among RAC, the Zhengzhou Research Institute of Macroeconomic and Cambodia Angkor Air,” said Touch.

The main aims of the MoU are to organise a Zhengzhou-Cambodia-ASEAN Air Forum, strengthen research partnerships with think tanks, and explore opportunities for economic and tourism ties between Zhengzhou and Cambodia.

“There’s an array of opportunities in Zhengzhou, particularly in tourism and the markets for salt, durian and seafood. Especially now, with China halting seafood imports from Japan due to their release of nuclear waste into the sea, it’s a significant chance for us,” he expressed.

Ho Vandy, an adviser to the Cambodia Association of Travel Agents, praised both RAC and Cambodia Angkor Air for their initiatives with China.

He highlighted the Ministry of Tourism’s proactive measures to appeal to more Chinese visitors, introducing fresh tourist products and enhancing the hospitality offerings tailored for Chinese guests.

“It’s common knowledge that the bond between Cambodia and China is incredibly close, fostering what’s known as a ‘diamond’ collaboration for the mutual benefit of both nations,” Vandy remarked.

“I’m confident that such endeavours will lure more Chinese visitors to Cambodia and pave the way for further collaborations,” he added.

To refine the standards of services for Chinese tourists post-pandemic and amplify Cambodia’s tourism sector in the Chinese market, the tourism ministry recently unveiled an online China-Ready Accreditation system (CRA). This mechanism allows hospitality and tourism businesses to obtain certification that their services match Chinese benchmarks.

“The system is designed to streamline the application process for businesses and ensure their offerings meet the required standards,” it said.

The ministry further noted that once certification is secured, businesses will be awarded a CRA badge, signifying top-tier service quality.

With the introduction of the CRA, Chinese tour operators and tourists can now place greater trust in the services they receive in Cambodia.

Not only does the accreditation system assure consumers of the quality, but it also serves as a hallmark of excellence that resonates with Chinese expectations.

Furthermore, the CRA provides the tourism ministry with a streamlined method to identify and promote a network of travel and tourism providers specifically to the Chinese market.

This systematic approach ensures that only the best and most compatible services are showcased, reinforcing Cambodia’s dedication to catering to the needs and preferences of Chinese visitors.

This strategy holds promise for cementing a strong and enduring bond between the two nations in the realm of tourism and cultural exchange.