PHNOM PENH, Oct. 21 (Xinhua) -- Cambodia is working to develop more facilities for Chinese tourists, including an accreditation system for tourism establishments, as part of its "China-Ready" strategy announced in May, local media reported Friday.
Tourism Ministry spokesman Tith Chantha said that Chinese tourists present a huge opportunity for Cambodia's tourism industry as the Asian giant's population and income levels continue to rise.
Speaking at the opening of the CamFood and CamHotel exhibitions in Phnom Penh on Thursday, he said about 130 million Chinese go abroad each year and this number was expected to reach 200 million by 2020.
The goal of the Kingdom's China-Ready strategy is for Cambodia to attract 2 million of these Chinese tourists a year by 2020.
"It is vital for Cambodia to act on the opportunity and potential of Chinese tourism and we have prepared our China-Ready strategy in order to attract Chinese to visit our country," he was quoted as saying by the Phnom Penh Post.
"We are now trying to build the capacity of our hospitality services," he said.
Cambodia received 3.7 million international tourist arrivals during the first nine months of the year and expects to receive 5 million tourists this year.
Last year, the number of Chinese tourists visiting Cambodia grew 14 percent to 700,000. This year the figure is expected to be closer to one million, according to Chantha.
He said the China-Ready strategy, which is managed by its own department in the Tourism Ministry, is looking to improve facilities for this fast-growing segment.
"China-Ready will insure that all services in the tourism sector have Chinese-language facilities, such as Chinese speakers on site or menus in Chinese, and (establishments that provide these services) will have a sign that the facility is accredited as China-Ready to provide comfort and convenience to Chinese visitors," the newspaper quoted him as saying.
He added that the name of the tourism establishment should also be translated into Chinese on its signage in order to attract Chinese tourists.