Siem Reap Investment Forum

November 20 - 21, 2023 | Siem Reap, Cambodia

The Mekong region is a diverse and vibrant destination that attracts millions of tourists every year. In recent years, the region’s UNESCO World Heritage sites have also seen a noticeable increase in the number of visitors as more and more travelers seek out cultural experiences and rich historical heritages. These heritage cities also encompass a broad range of creative industries such as historical arts and music, traditional and cultural crafts and textiles, and gastronomy, among others. Furthermore, the global tourism industry is currently making a strong recovery from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, with a projection of a 30% increase in 2023 exceeding 2019 pre-pandemic levels. These trends offer a positive impact on the local economies, with opportunities to boost small businesses, create jobs, and contribute to the overall growth of the tourism industry in the Mekong region.

On the other hand, the rapid growth of the tourism industry also poses a significant challenge to the conservation of historical sites and authentic cultural heritages, as well as the environment in Mekong countries, signaling the significance of responsible and sustainable tourism practices. These heritage sites encompass unique cultural and historical treasures of the region that require careful management to mitigate the risks associated with the negative impacts of over-tourism and over-commercialization. A sustainable and smart tourism approach offers solutions to these challenges while also enhancing both the host communities and visitors’ experiences through technology and innovations. Sharing this aspiration, governments in the region are pursuing a more collaborative and balanced approach that takes into account the social, environmental, and economic impacts of tourism in their respective heritage destinations.

Mekong Institute (MI), with the support of the Mekong-Republic of Korea Cooperation Fund (MKCF), is currently implementing a three-year project called the Sustainable and Smart Tourism Development in the Mekong Region. The project promotes and introduces smart tourism tools, techniques, and technologies through a number of activities including modular training, coaching and mentorship programs, curriculum development, city roadshows, exchange programs, structured learning visits, knowledge-sharing seminars, and investment forums.

More specially, the project aims to promote sustainable and smart city development to strengthen the five Mekong countries’ capacities in meeting the fast-rising and highly competitive tourism inbound market through collaboration and working closely with local administrations, business associations, technical partners, and local destination management companies in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam. The allure of the Mekong region’s heritage towns and provinces, including Ayutthaya, Luang Prabang, Siem Reap, Hue, and Bagan, is steeped in their rich cultural legacies and historical significance. These extraordinary locations hold immense potential for economic prosperity and environmental preservation.

As part of the project, Mekong Institute (MI) in partnership with local governments, host a series of investment forum in the selected heritage cities, namely, Ayutthaya (Thailand), Siem Reap (Cambodia), Luang Prabang (Lao PDR), Hue (Vietnam), and Bagan (Myanmar). This forum will serve as a platform for presenting the five meticulously developed investment opportunities by provincial stakeholders. Following the presentations, intimate small group discussions will be organized, allowing project proponents to interact directly with diverse investors to delve into further details of the opportunities and explore potential next steps. These discussions are vital for clarifying investment plans, addressing queries, and fostering meaningful connections between stakeholders in their smart city journey.

Additionally, under the same project, Mekong Heritage Mobile Application has been developed to support a new data model of smart tourism and stimulate innovative entrepreneurial spirit among local businesses. It aims to provide comprehensive information on the key attractions, tourism services, and products of the five selected heritage cities of Mekong countries. By utilizing the app, users can gain insights into the diverse heritage sites, explore their historical significance, and discover the fascinating stories behind them.

Objective: The forum is expected to lay a solid foundation for propelling sustainable and smart city endeavors through strategic collaborations between concerned stakeholders including provincial government, tourism departments, business associations, investors, and development funding partners. These crucial partnerships are poised to drive economic growth, foster environmental stewardship, and uplift local communities in the region. The primary goal is to address the unique needs of these heritage provinces while championing the transfer of technology, skill development, and forging alliances that yield mutual benefits through sustainable smart city investments.

Expected Outcomes: The investment partnership envisioned at the forum extends beyond mere financial investment but with its commitment to enhancing environmental sustainability, preserving heritage, bolstering livelihoods, and redefining the landscape of tourism. It encompasses a collaborative journey that has the power to revamp infrastructure through cutting-edge technologies, safeguard cultural heritage for posterity, stimulate employment opportunities, and propagate the principles of responsible tourism that ripple through generations.

Participants: The intimate Forum will bring a group of 36 individuals, comprising representatives from investors and development partners from Korea and in the country. Key local stakeholders will include, but not be limited to, representatives from provincial government offices, tourism department, monument and heritage administrations, business association, chamber of commerce, local investors, and tourism and hospitality education providers.

Siem Reap is a city in Cambodia that is known for its rich history and cultural significance. It was the center of the Khmer Empire from the 9th to the 15th centuries and is home to many ancient temples and ruins that serve as reminders of this powerful empire. The most famous of these temples is Angkor Wat, a massive temple complex that is considered one of the most impressive examples of Khmer architecture and art. Siem Reap is a popular destination for travelers who are interested in exploring ancient ruins and learning about the history of Cambodia.

Siem Reap is also home to several museums and cultural centers that provide insight into the history and culture of the Khmer people. These include the Angkor National Museum, which houses artifacts and exhibits related to the ancient temples of Angkor, and the Cambodian Landmine Museum and Relief Center, which provides information about the landmine problem in Cambodia and the efforts being made to remove them.

Today, Siem Reap is a bustling city with a thriving tourist industry. Visitors from all over the world come to explore the ancient ruins and learn about the rich history and culture of Cambodia. The city has a vibrant nightlife scene, with many restaurants, bars, and clubs catering to tourists and locals alike. Despite its growth and development, Siem Reap has managed to maintain its unique cultural heritage and remains a must-visit destination for travelers to Cambodia.

Founded and represented by Cambodia, P.R. China, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam, the Mekong Institute (MI) deepens regional cooperation and integration for sustainable socioeconomic development and poverty alleviation in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS). MI carries out initiatives in areas across Agricultural Development and Commercialization, Trade and Investment Facilitation, and Sustainable Energy and Environment, through capacity development, dialogue, and advocacy.

To download the agenda, click here

Related EVENT

Scroll to Top