PHNOM PENH, Sept. 18 (Xinhua) -- Cambodia is set to roll out the Four-Strategic Plan for Tourism Development aimed at reviving tourism at the Angkor Archaeological Park and the Preah Vihear temple in northern provinces, a local newspaper reported on Wednesday.
The two main tourist destinations saw a 9.7 percent and 5.5 percent drop in tourists during the first seven months of this year.
Tourism Minister Thong Khon and Environment Minister Say Samal unveiled the masterplan for tourism development in the northern provinces during an inter-ministerial committee meeting on Monday, the Phnom Penh Post reported.
The four-strategic plan includes diversifying new tourism products and extending the stay of tourists, boosting competitiveness, improving connectivity and crafting a new identity for the "Siem Reap area," which includes Preah Vihear province.
Khon said that development of new tourism products is necessary to attract tourists to the two world heritage sites-the Angkor Archaeological Park in Siem Reap province and the Preah Vihear temple in Preah Vihear province.
"We are currently working actively to make Cambodia a quality tourist destination, meaning that apart from efforts to strengthen services, the sale of fake products to cheat tourists must also be stopped," he was quoted as saying by the Phnom Penh Post.
He said the authorities would not allow the sale of counterfeit souvenirs and jewelry to continue as it causes a significant impact on Cambodia's tourism destinations and national prestige as a whole.
During the meeting, the committee also designated the Tonle Sap Lake area, Kulen Mountain, Siem Reap town and surrounding areas as zones for new tourism product development.
Tourist arrivals dropped by 9.7 percent year-on-year in Siem Reap province in the first seven months of this year and rose 27.9 percent year-on-year in Phnom Penh, a Ministry of Tourism report shows.
Tourist arrivals in coastal areas climbed 31.9 percent year-on year during the same period and increased 9.4 percent year-on-year in ecotourism areas, it shows.
The report said that in the first seven months of this year, Cambodia welcomed 3.84 million foreign tourists, up 11.1 percent on the same period last year.
The number of Chinese tourists reached 1.5 million during the period, up 37 percent year-on-year, Vietnamese tourists hit nearly 480,000, up 4.6 percent year-on-year, and Lao tourists were nearly 220,000, down 1.9 percent.