Turkmenistan intends to be the first country in Central Asia to have direct flights with Cambodia’s new Siem Reap-Angkor International Airport, Ambassador of Turkmenistan to Cambodia Muhammetniyaz Mashalov said in Phnom Penh, the Cambodianess news website reported on Tuesday.
Ambassador Mashalov, with a permanent residence in Malaysia’s capital city Kuala Lumpur, presented his letter of credence to Cambodia's King Norodom Sihamoni and met with the country’s Tourism Minister Thong Khon on Monday to discuss tourism cooperation.
“The government of Turkmenistan intends to connect direct flights from its country to Siem Reap, a major tourist destination in ASEAN so that tourists from Turkmenistan and neighboring countries can visit Siem Reap, a heritage site of the world,” Muhammetnyyaz Mashalov said.
Given the tourist potential of Cambodia, the Turkmen side seeks to strengthen ties to increase reciprocal visits, according to the report.
During his visit to Cambodia, Ambassador Mashalov plans to visit Siem Reap, including the renowned Angkor Wat and other temples, which are significant historical sites attracting numerous tourists, he said.
Tourism Minister Thong Khon supported the tourism cooperation initiative and pledged to continue cooperation with Turkmenistan. He suggested to develop a Memorandum of Understanding as a roadmap for collaborative action plans linked to tourist cooperation.
Additionally, Ambassador Mashalov proposed to organize tourism fairs in both Cambodia and Turkmenistan to promote their respective tourist destinations to tour operators and attract more national and international visitors.
Cambodia has already welcomed 2.58 million international visitors in the first half of 2023, with an estimated total of around 5 million foreign visitors anticipated for the entire year, according to data from the Tourism Ministry.