New Smart Airport Aims to Drive More Tourists into Siem Reap

An MOU has been signed between Cambodia Angkor Air and global travel provider Group to create the country’s first smart airport in Siem Reap, slated to open in October
A new international airport in Siem Reap province. Kiripost via Tekret Samrach
A new international airport in Siem Reap province. Kiripost via Tekret Samrach

Cambodia Angkor Air and Group have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to build a smart airport in Siem Reap, the global travel service provider said in a news release.

The MOU was jointly signed on Friday by Yudong Tan, Chief Executive Officer of the Flight Business Group and Vice President of Group, and David Zhan, Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Cambodia Angkor Air.

The two sides (Cambodia Angkor Air and Group) are poised to collaborate on the construction of a smart airport, provide tourism talent training programs, and promote Cambodia as a significant worldwide destination, according to the release.

Speaking to Kiripost, Thourn Sinan, chairman of the Pacific Asia Travel Association Cambodia Chapter (PATACC), said,

"This agreement between Cambodia Angkor Air and Group is very beneficial for Cambodia because Group is a big online service that can promote and bring Chinese tourists to Cambodia."

Sinan added that it is a significant and long-term action to develop Cambodia's tourism sector through good cooperation with Group to promote Cambodia on the international stage and showcase the improvements in the Kingdom's tourism development. Group will provide Cambodia Angkor Airport with full support, boosting the new Angkor International Airport's digital and intelligent services. This assistance will help the airport become a vital smart airport in the region, leveraging its worldwide user network and leading product capacity, the report added.

At the same time, both companies will launch new marketing campaigns and collaborate on hotel development, travel visa services, and tourist talent training programs in their respective nations.

Tekreth Samrach, Minister attached to the Prime Minister and Chairman of Cambodia Angkor Air, said, "The construction of the new Angkor International Airport is essential to Cambodia's global tourism strategy. We hope to grasp the opportunity of global tourism revival and closely work with Group to carry out comprehensive cooperation, from constructing smart airports to enhancing our services for more travellers."

Xing Xiong, CEO of Group, said, "The construction of the new Angkor International Airport and the global travel revival will present tremendous opportunities for tourism in Cambodia."

The news release added that the new Angkor International Airport in Cambodia will open in October, with a predicted annual passenger count of seven million people, increasing to 10 million people per year by 2030.

China is one of the most significant sources of inbound tourism in Cambodia. In 2019, Cambodia received 6.61 million foreign tourists, of which 2.362 million were Chinese tourists, accounting for about 36 percent. In 2023, the Cambodian government launched the "China Ready" strategy to attract more Chinese tourists.

With its rich tourism resources, Cambodia has quickly attracted tourists from China and worldwide. As of mid-May 2023, the number of users from the Chinese mainland searching for Cambodia tourism products on Ctrip, a Group sub-brand, increased by more than 233 percent compared to the same period last year, the report added.