Cambodia romances Chinese tourists with US$2m movie

Bokor Mountain and other Cambodian destinations will be featured, in addition to Chinese locations such as Yunnan

A film aimed at luring more Chinese tourists to Cambodia could attract more high-spending visitors from China and plant the South-east Asian country as a romance destination.

Filming on Love in Cambodia started in September as a joint bid between Cambodia’s Ministry of Tourism and Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts. The aim is to use the film as a tool to promote Cambodia to foreign tourists, particularly Chinese visitors.

Bokor Mountain and other Cambodian destinations will be featured, in addition to Chinese locations such as Yunnan

The US$2 million movie – slated to premier in China in early 2019 – will feature Phnom Penh, Angkor Wat, Koh Rong island off the coast of Sihanoukville, and Bokor Mountain in Kampot. Scenes will also be shot in China, primarily in Kunming in Yunnan province.

Heng Chinmeng, founder of Cambodia Dream Travels, hopes the film will encourage more high-spending Chinese travellers as well as young families and couples to visit the country’s lesser visited destinations.

On the back of the film, Rosewood Phnom Penh plans to arrange a press brief to be distributed by its PR agency in China. Adrein Pon, director of sales and marketing, said: “We believe (the movie) will increase the number of tourists, including the high-end market.”

Anantara Angkor Resort’s general manager Sarah Moya is hopeful that the movie will attract more high-end Chinese to Siem Reap, which currently lacks the sophisticated shopping and dining experiences that the luxury sector opts for.

“The film will help a little in capturing the niche within that market that we would prefer to have,” she said.

Likewise, Le Meridien Angkor intents to use the film as part of its digital marketing efforts in China. Maria Rowena Medina, marketing manager, added that the romantic film could plant Cambodia on the map as a wedding destination.

Said Medina: “The movie, for sure, will have a positive impact on Cambodia’s tourism efforts in China. It may cement Cambodia as a romantic destination and the opportunity may arise for Cambodia as a wedding and honeymoon destination for Chinese.”

Chhay Sivlin, president of Cambodia Association of Travel Agents, revealed that a series of fam trips will be organised.

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