Thursday, 25 January 2007

So, what's my plan?

Why am I spending six weeks in Cambodia? The average tourist spends 3.2 days in Cambodia - that's much less than in neighbouring Thailand, Vietnam and even Laos. I'm interested to find out what is being done to change this. Can the entire country benefit from the rising numbers of tourists and not only the popular destinations of Angkor Wat?

More than 1,5 Million tourists visited the historic Khmer temples last year, and yet Siem Reap is still the third poorest region of Cambodia. Fruits and vegetables consumed in Siem Reap's many hotels and most handicraft bought by tourists are not produced locally but imported from neighbouring Thailand and Vietnam. What is being done to change that? What positive potentials does Cambodia's booming tourism industry have? But also, what are its dangers? How can Cambodia develop a sustainable, environment and social friendly tourism that benefits a large segment of its population? Those are some of the questions I would like to address on the road that will take me from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap, Kompong Thom, Ratanakiri, Mondulkiri and Sihanoukville.

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