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Floods threaten tourism industry in Cambodia

11-02-2011 16:22 BJT

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In Cambodia, increasing concern over the floods crippling its tourism industry. Being the country’s second largest economic sector, every cent generated from it will be needed to rebuild the country.

It is one of the most iconic tourist attraction in the world.

The Angkor watt temple. This 12th century temple has been the symbol of Cambodia’s tourism industry

More than a billion dollar a year industry and accounts for more than 10 % of the national GDP.

And with the biggest flood in a decade hitting the country, it is under threat.

A Cambodia Muslim, right, wades though flood waters after his daily prayer in a
mosque at Doung village, some 18 kilometers (11 miles) north of Phnom Penh,
Cambodia, Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2011. Flash floods, the worst to hit Cambodia since
2000, have killed at least 150 people in this Southeast Asian nation since
August, the government said. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)

Bun Tharith, Siam Reap Deputy Governor, said, "The tourism industry is very very important here, that's when the flood came, why we sent special team to guard Ankor Wat."

Although the world heritage temple is saved, This tourist town and the area around it has been one of the hardest hit by the flood.

Cambodia Muslims get off from from a wooden boat after they come back from a
flooding-hit mosque at Doung village, some 18 kilometers (11 miles) north of
Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2011.

And in a double blow to the tourism industry here, the flood has prompted the government to cancel the water festival this year, which traditionally attracts a lot of tourist.

The normally festive river scenes at this time of the year is now replaced with this. Clean up scenes from the effects of the flood.

The state budget for the water festival will be used to help the flood affected families.

Hotel de la Paix, Heritage Suites Hotel and Golden Banana Boutique Hotel & Resort as well as Exotissimo Travel are working in collaboration the with children from the Green Gecko Project to provide emergency flood relief in Siem Reap and neighbouring Kampong Thom, which have been severely hit by the floodingChristian De Boer, De La Paix Manager, said, "We wanted to do something, we want to give back to the community. "

Mobilised by the children’s appeal, the hotels and Green Gecko sprang into action and a first delivery of rice, fish and soy sauce to the vistims.

He said, "Up to now we have reached almost 1200 families."

The hotels are also encouraging the tourist to join the relief effort through their Facebook page and have managed to raise more than 25.000 US dollars.

They are now organizing phase two which includes helping to rebuild the destroyed houses and giving out rice seeds to the victim.

With the water receding just in time for the tourists to start flowing in, the hope is that, more will come and can give the flood victim more help and the country’s economy a much needed boost.


Editor:Zhang Jingya |Source: CNTV.CN

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