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Cambodia & Tourism - Conference (3) : J. Guichandut, "changing the way travellers perceive the Kingdom"

The third speaker at the conference on coastal tourism held recently at the SUN & MOON Riverside, Jacques Guichandut, founder and managing director of All Dreams Cambodia, gave his impressions of "the renaissance of coastal tourism" and outlined the Destination Cambodia 2024 campaign of which he is the director.

Jacques Guichandut, founder and managing director of All Dreams Cambodia and director of the campaign Destination Cambodge 2024
Jacques Guichandut, founder and managing director of All Dreams Cambodia and director of the campaign Destination Cambodge 2024

After thanking and congratulating the previous speaker, David Moons, describing him as the region's "best ambassador for tourism", Mr Guichandut also mentioned that "the Cambodian people, their smiles and their sense of welcome are indeed a key element in the quality of the tourism offering".

He went on to underline his optimism about the region's development:

"The Kep - Kampot region, which used to be the equivalent of the French Riviera, is gradually beginning to return to the forefront of the tourism scene", he said, adding:

"I have to stress that the new infrastructure programme in this area that initially scared everyone is actually a very, very good thing."

According to Mr Guichandut, "the government has worked hard on infrastructure and renovation so that Kep and Kampot can once again become a beautiful destination as they were in the past" and "the Kampot airport will link the region to the capital in less than an hour and a half, thus attracting more foreign tourists, not forgetting the port structure, which is not yet operational, but which will make it possible to welcome many more cruise passengers".

Jacques Guichandut, founder and managing director of All Dreams Cambodia and director of the campaign Destination Cambodge 2024
Jacques Guichandut, founder and managing director of All Dreams Cambodia and director of the campaign Destination Cambodge 2024

Mr Guichandut went on to present the Destination Cambodge 2024 campaign, of which he is the director and which aims to attract the French-speaking public in Europe. "The aim of this initiative is to present Cambodia as a major destination, not just an extension of it," he said, adding: "The government is heavily involved. The Ministry of Tourism will be very active in this campaign, as will the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of the Environment.

According to the tour operator, although Cambodia communicates a lot, it still needs to strengthen its image abroad. Mr Guichandut presented the conclusions of an industry study, which emphasised:

"Many travellers are surprised when they arrive in the country, because they discover a destination that is very different from the image they previously had of it".

"This study clearly indicates that tourists' perception before arriving in the country is limited to Angkor and the Khmer Rouge. When they leave, the only thing they remember is the Cambodian people and their hospitality. That's why the logo for this campaign highlights the smile, the famous Khmer smile.''
Logo of the campaign Destination Cambodge 2024
Logo of the campaign Destination Cambodge 2024

Finally, he pointed out that the campaign had the support of a number of major international companies, including Qatar Airways, AirAsia, Accor and Rosewood.

About the Destination Cambodia 2024 campaign

According to Mr Guichandut, the campaign is aimed at tourism professionals as well as the general public and influencers. It will take several forms:

  • BtoB and Mice web marketing, with a monthly newsletter

  • Special editions of Cambodia for the general public and professionals

  • Creation of a French-language website dedicated to Cambodia, with e-learning and a section for professionals

  • Intensive use of social networks, PR campaigns, webinars and special operations to engage the tourism community

Changing the perception of a destination is a long-term process. Jacques Guichandut and his team are confident:

"Cambodia has everything it takes to become a sustainable and attractive tourist destination. With Destination Cambodia 2024, the country is ready to welcome the world and reveal all the richness of its natural and cultural heritage.''

"This ambitious campaign represents a key step in the redefinition of Cambodian tourism. By embracing the diversity and richness of its assets, Cambodia is positioning itself as an essential destination for the years to come.

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