22.04.2013 -

Handover Ceremony of the “Tourism Management Plan” within the “Angkor Heritage Management Framework” Project

@Office of Council of Ministers - Handover Ceremony of the Tourism Management Plan

By the Australian Embassy and UNESCO Office in the Kingdom of Cambodia to APSARA Authority

Phnom Penh, 25 March 2013

The Angkor Tourism Management Plan, or TMP, has been elaborated as a major component of the Heritage Management Framework which started two years ago and can be considered as a milestone in the history of international cooperation for the safeguarding and development of Angkor. It is the first project in the field of heritage management funded by Australia and co-financed by the Royal Government of Cambodia.

Likewise, the project and the elaboration of the management tools have been developed in a very participatory manner through which the Australian experts from Godden Mackay Logan relied  on the inside knowledge of the APSARA National Authority staff and regularly consulted with other stakeholders such as the Ministry of Tourism, the local population and the private sector, and UNESCO.

All of this makes of the HMF project a very special one in which Cambodia is not only a beneficiary but also a partner of international cooperation. H. E. Mr. Sok An noted that this Tourism Management Plan is one of the fundamental tools for the management of the Angkor Archeological park, and that it will assist APSARA to better administrate and monitor the park, its environment and social evolutions. “As the Kingdom of Cambodia prepares itself to host the 37th Session of the World Heritage Committee, the adoption of the Tourism Management Plan by the Royal Government is a testimony to the efforts we are undertaking to promote the principle of sustainable management and development at Angkor as well as in all World Heritage sites,” added H. E. Mr. Sok An.

Mr. Lim Bun Hok, National Programme Officer, and Secretariat for the ICC-Angkor commented, “This plan has been launched at the right time when the number of tourists in Angkor reached two million in 2012. Having the Tourism Management Plan is not an end in itself; Rather, its effective implementation is crucial. Although tourism could bring economic benefit, tourism can also have a negative impact on the structural, social and environmental aspects of the site.”

Sustainable tourism is now at the core of all international discussion.  World Heritage properties are important travel destinations, and if managed properly, have great potential impact for local economic development and long-term sustainability. Thus the HMF and this newly adopted Angkor Tourism Management Plan answer major preoccupations of the World Heritage Committee and the ICC-Angkor by finally providing the APSARA National Authority with tools to efficiently manage the World Heritage Site and rise up to the challenges generated by growing tourism.

For more information, please contact Ms. Jamie Lee, UNESCO Communication and Information Unit, at: hj.lee(at)unesco.org

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