The Ministry of Tourism said more than 400,000 guests participated in the first two days of the 7th River Festival in Kampong Thom province on March 7-9. The ministry predicts that at least one million visitors will enjoy the occasion.
The festival runs from March 8 to 10, with the theme “Our River for Now and the Future”, but many people revelled in the festivities even before the official launch date.
“Around 18,500 visited on March 7, with an additional 385,000 showing up on March 8 – more than 400,000 in total,” said Seng Ann, director of the provincial tourism department.
Tourism minister Thong Khon said the large event features 300 booths which exhibit the best of the Kingdom’s food and beverages, agro-tourism and community products.
“The exhibition has made a significant contribution to the tourism sector, while also promoting the development of the agriculture sector. It has created jobs for farmers, artisans and producers through the tourism market,” he said.
He expects to see at least one million visitors join the three-day festival.
In a congratulatory message, Prime Minister Hun Sen said the festival is another fantastic example of what makes Cambodia such a high-quality tourist destination. It creates employment opportunities and generates income which alleviates poverty.
“The River Festival has become an important tourism event. It not only promotes the tourism potential of the Kingdom’s rivers, but supports the government’s policy of developing the areas along the river in a sustainable and responsible manner,” he said.
“It is also an excellent opportunity to improve the quality of services and develop innovative new tourism products, especially cruises and other activities along the river,” he concluded.
He reiterated that this year’s theme is highly appropriate, as the government aims to balance local economic development with the protection and conservation of natural resources.
The letter continued that the government would celebrate the river festival every year in all provinces along the river.
The 7th River Festival features traditional and contemporary art performances. Competitions in running, beach football and volleyball, petanque, Khmer martial art and “table football” will also be held in order to promote the upcoming SEA Games and ASEAN Para Games.