2019 in Cambodia – Changes, exploration, and evolution
In 2019, Cambodia continues to be synonymous with exciting adventures: Khiri Travel Cambodia has also had an adventurous year full of changes and evolution. After having Miles Gravett at the helm for 4 years, Vidya Lo took over as General Manager in October. The team has also grown with a newly appointed Assistant GM, Charlotte Piffard. Both Siem Reap and Phnom Penh branches have moved offices into lovely, green houses with beautiful outdoor spaces and fruit trees!
Overall, tourism in the Cambodia has been on an upward trajectory with more than six million international tourists and arrivals. As a million more are expected to be counted in 2020, the country remains a top destination for millennials in the upcoming 2020. A major part of this growth comes directly from China but for Khiri Cambodia, the USA has been our largest arrival market in 2019. While most travelers continue to flock to the ancient Angkor temples, our team also works diligently at showing our guests the beautiful-less-traveled parts of Cambodia.
In the lush rainforests, Khiri Cambodia has launched a new trekking excursion into the Phnom Kulen sacred mountain. As the birthplace of the Khmer Empire, the “Mountain of Lychees” has picturesque waterfalls and numerous sandstone carvings throughout the National Park. With a lot of discoveries along the way, views to enjoy, there is an opportunity to have lunch near an ancient temple or follow the rangers through cashew nut plantations. Our guests will end up reaching the giant stones elephants that are the guardians of the mountain!
In July, our two teams, Siem Reap and Phnom Penh, gathered together for five days and went on a team building excursion. We set off to discover the most-sparsely-populated Northeast region of Cambodia: Mondulkiri. Traveling through Mondulkiri, the natural beauty of the waterfalls and jungle will mesmerize travelers. We drove along the Mekong and enjoyed seeing houses built in traditional Khmer style. Our staff had fun kayaking in stunning Stueng Treng town. We further explored the countryside by cycling in Kratie and boating to Koh Pdao island, where we visited the local communities.
As sustainability is one of our core values, our team pledged on Keeping it Green in 2019. One hundred trees were planted on Koh Pdao island as part of our social responsibility and engagement towards a better and greener Cambodia. Continuing from our tree planting efforts and our desire to have a positive impact on our environment, our offices have been working on getting our Travelife certification. Our sustainability policies continue to focus on minimizing single-plastic use along with other waste. Two audits have taken place in Siem Reap and Phnom Penh to finalize the process in December; fingers crossed!
2020 in Cambodia is gearing up to be another fun and exciting year. As Khiri Travel Cambodia continues to participate in clean-up days and meeting with other players of the industry: together we will ban single-use plastic at the Angkor Complex which is a UNESCO site. If everything goes according to plan, expect big changes to occur next year. We will move ahead and focus on developing new, exciting, and innovative products. As we draw inspiration from our teams, their local partners and communities, we will continue to keep sharing our passion for discovery!