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Cambodia to host 3rd world ecotourism conference in October

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PHNOM PENH, Aug. 31 (Xinhua) -- Cambodia will host the third world ecotourism conference on Oct. 3-5 in coastal Preah Sihanouk province, aimed at boosting the development of Asia Pacific natural tourism destinations, said a senior tourism official on Wednesday.

Tith Chantha, director general of Ministry of Tourism, said the conference will be held under the theme "Charting the Future of Ecotourism in Asia: Asia will dominate global tourism in future."

The conference will explore the future of ecotourism and discuss the synergies between socio-economic development and nature conservation and aligning policies towards nation building and wealth creation, he said.

Some 300 stakeholders from around 40 countries, mostly in Asia Pacific, will deliberate on mainstreaming ecotourism and deliberate on cross financing ideas as well as debate on the balance between ecological sustainability and economic accountability.

"The commercialization of ecotourism to achieve economic viability and financial returns with low ecological impact will also be debated," according to the draft document of the conference. "It will also help to feature destinations and eco- products in many tour operator programs and networks internationally."

Preah Sihanouk province is situated about 230 kilometers Southwest of Phnom Penh.

According to the United Nations World Tourism Organization, international tourist arrivals in Asia and the Pacific reached a historic rise of 204 million in 2010, some 24 million higher than those in a year earlier.

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