The Ministry of Tourism plans to turn Kampot town into the Kingdom’s first smoke-free tourism destination. This is part of plans to promote Kampot province as a beautiful, green safe tourist destination which will host major national and international events in the future.

Hor Sarun, ministry secretary of state, chaired a December 28 meeting on the plan to implement the guidelines on the designation of Kampot as a smoke-free tourist town.

He encouraged the participation of all relevant parties, and said the new policy would protect the health and welfare of the people of the town, as well as tourists.

“Tobacco smoke poses a risk to people’s health and to the environment. In order to mitigate its impact on economic and social health, the owners of tourism businesses across the Kingdom should follow the latest guidelines which pushed for increased tobacco control measures and offered smoke-free environmental guidance,” he said.

“This is especially true for Kampot, already one of the cleanest, greenest destinations in Cambodia,” he added.

Sarun stated that making Kampot town a free-smoke tourist destination would require the participation of all business owners, authorities and members of the public.

He called on all relevant parties and police to paste and erect “no-smoking or e-cigarette” signs at markets and other public places.

Pacific Asia Travel Association Cambodia chapter chairman Thourn Sinan said the initiative was an excellent tactic to raise the profile of Kampot town and attract more international and domestic visitors.

“I support this initiative. If we implement it successfully, it will be a bold new step in the development of tourism in the Kingdom. It will also make a significant contribution to a reduction in the harm that cigarette smoking does, and to the costs of health treatment,” he added.

The ministry said that next month a smoke-free environmental team would evaluate the implementation of the guidelines in Kampot town, and offer suggestions as to what is needed to receive the recognition of the South East Asian Tobacco Control Alliance (SEATCA).