MANILA, Philippines --- The Philippine Travel Agencies Association (PTAA) is set to explore tourism potential between the Philippines and Cambodia.
Going on a five-day business trip to Cambodia this week, the PTAA will be holding separate meetings with Cambodian Minister of Tourism Thong Khon and their local counterparts.
PTAA president Aileen Clemente said Cambodia remains an untapped market and presents unique possibilities for two-way tourism traffic between the two countries.
"With the Association of South East Asian Nations gearing up towards promoting the region and with the launch of Cebu Pacific's direct flights to Cambodia, it is a viable strategy to encourage tourism between our two countries," Clemente said.
PTAA vice president for outbound
Josefina Baena added: "Cambodia is a new territory in terms of business opportunities for our members. With Filipinos travelling more than any time in the past and are continuously looking for new places to visit, Cambodia offers some potential."
In 2011, Cambodia received 2.90 million tourists with the country expecting to have at least 3.10 million tourist arrivals this year.
The Cambodian government has characterized their country as an inexpensive destination with tourists spending $60 at the most daily while averaging six days during their stay in the country.
The Cambodian government is expecting Filipino tourist arrivals to their country to jump at least 50 percent this year with the introduction of direct flights from the Philippines. Last year, Cambodia was visited by 17,000 Filipinos.
The PTAA will be bringing more than 100 of its member companies to the trip. Included in the itinerary are visits to some of the top tourist destinations in the predominantly Buddhist country including the South Gate of Angkor Thorn, Elephants Terrace, Terrace of the Leper King, floating village at the Tonle Sap Lake, Angkor Silk Farm, and Angkor National Museum.
Over the past few years, the PTAA has taken its members and held high level talks with the governments of India, Macau, Singapore, Taiwan, and Thailand.