Digital literacy key to post-Covid rebound for tourism sector: Khon

National Assembly Member Hun Many (front, left) and Tourism Minister Thong Khon (front, right) at the opening ceremony on August 22.

According to Tourism Minister Thong Khon, promoting digital literacy in the tourism sector amid the ever-changing technological era will be crucial in bringing back international travelers after more than two years of pandemic shutdown.

The minister made the remarks on August 22 at the mixed-format opening ceremony of a tourism digital literacy training program for Phnom Penh and Siem Reap province, attended by around 300 people, including representatives of ministries, institutions, local and foreign development partners, and the private sector, as well as interns.

Khon pointed out that digitalization has become an important topic in the discourse on tourism development, amid rapid technological advancements and growing demand from domestic and international tourists.

The Covid-19 crisis has catalyzed a growing need for timely adoption of emerging technologies to ensure the competitiveness of Cambodia’s tourism sector in the context of the fourth industrial revolution, he said, adding that positive momentum this would require the active participation of the private sector.

The Minister said digital tourism literacy is key to cultivating new skills to leverage advanced technologies and innovations in support of creating and managing smart tourism initiatives in Cambodia and developing of the entire national tourist landscape “in accordance with practical needs and realities”. .

Khon called on tourism public and private sector players to continue their professional development and educators to regularly update their curricula to meet the needs of the industry.

He noted that tourism, dubbed “green gold” by the government, has always been a major driver of economic growth: increasing national incomes, creating jobs and improving livelihoods.

However, over the past two years, Covid has hampered the tourism industry in Cambodia, the region and around the world, decimating international travel and forcing businesses to scale down or close, causing a series of socio-economic shocks. majors.

Speaking at the same event, Hun Many, Chairman of the National Assembly’s Seventh Committee which covers tourism among others, said digital literacy has become a basic need for people of all ages to meet their needs. constantly evolving, as new technologies require increasingly sophisticated skills. and advanced knowledge.

He explained that changes in socio-economic structures have manifested themselves in changes in the needs of individuals, families and institutions that require a thorough understanding of ongoing social phenomena and trends to significantly improve the quality of life. , education, work and business.

Many said the government still sees tourism as an important contributor to national economic growth despite severe economic pressure from Covid-19.

“In this context, the adoption of technology is absolutely necessary and timely in line with the direction of the Royal Government to build a digital economy and society, to ensure long-term growth for Cambodia with the continued promotion of diversification in all priority areas to increase competitiveness and ensure inclusive sustainable development towards achieving the visions for 2030 and 2050,” he said.

Many said his commission had “always supported” tourism ministry and private sector initiatives focused on tourism restoration and promotion, including capacity building for digital development.

He said such capacity building would enable the tourism sector to adopt emerging technologies, improve the quality of hospitality services and facilitate their delivery.

The Ministry of Tourism said that in the first seven months of this year, Cambodia welcomed more than 740,000 international visitors, marking a 560 percent year-on-year increase.

Siem Reap alone booked 1,242,854 domestic trips during the period, up 890% year-on-year, of which Cambodians and foreign residents accounted for 1,159,000 and 83,854 respectively, up 799% and 1 352%.

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