Welcome Speech of Governor
On behalf of the people of Siem Reap, I am delighted to welcome you to the launch of the website of ‘Siem Reap Beyond the Temples’, a new site that highlights the variety of community-based tourism initiatives, adventure activities and cultural lifestyles of the local people in the communities of Siem Reap Province.
Siem Reap is one of the important tourism centres in the Kingdom of Cambodia and a destination of cultural and natural tourism. Besides visiting the temples, particularly Angkor Wat, the biggest religious structure in the world and one of world’s most iconic buildings, we have more attractive areas such as the Tonle Sap Lake, the largest lake in Southeast Asia, activities in the fishery community and ecotourism around the lake.
Developing tourism products and new attractions beyond the temples of Angkor provides socio-economic benefits and jobs to the local people, reduces migration and contributes to poverty reduction.
Siem Reap Beyond the Temples will bring the visitors to experience the real life of the people, adventure in the community forest, ox cart rides, board trips, visiting floating communities on the Tonle Sap Lake, exploring flooded forest, birdwatching, homestays with local people in the community and overnight camping which allows the visitors to directly pay to the local people.
The participation of the visitors in the community-based tourism and eco-tourism sectors is the success story of the responsible tourism industry, which transforms these attractive areas in the community into developed areas and converts the various natural resources into attractive tourism products, especially preventing the problems of deforestation and illegal hunting, turning ‘poacher into gamekeeper’ to protect the forest and its wildlife.
On behalf of the people, I would welcome you to our communities to experience our community-based eco-tourism initiatives and I believe that you will be happy to visit and stay among these communities with a warm welcome from all.
H.E Dr. KHEM BUNSONG