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Source:   Time:

PHNOM PENH, Dec. 6 (Xinhua) -- Cambodia hosted the Ninth Congress of the World's Most Beautiful Bays Club under the theme of "Blue Sea, Green City" on Friday in coastal Kampot province.

Galip Gur, president of the World's Most Beautiful Bays Club, and all members of the club from 29 countries and regions attended the congress.

Addressing the opening session of the two-day congress, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen said the conference would help strengthen the solidarity and joint commitment among countries to achieve common goals of the tourism development.

"I strongly believe that the congress will provide us with better views to be used as the basis for preparing regulatory framework to improve the management and development of the beach areas with a sense of responsibility," he said.

Cambodia has a pristine coastline extending 450 km over four provinces of Preah Sihanouk, Koh Kong, Kampot and Kep.

The coastline was officially recognized as one of the World's Most Beautiful Bays in May, 2011.

"This recognition enables the Cambodian coastline to play an important role as the second pole for attracting investment to promote economic growth after Phnom Penh," Hun Sen said. " Moreover, the coastline has been considered as a major tourism destination after the historic site of Angkor and Phnom Penh city. "

In the first 10 months of 2013, the number of foreign tourists visiting the coastal area reached 420,000, an increase of 84 percent compared with the same period last year, he said.

"Cambodia's coastal region is projected to welcome 1 million and 2 million foreign visitors in 2015 and 2020 respectively," he said.

Cambodian Tourism Minister Thong Khong said the congress was held back-to-back with the CLMV (Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam) Tourism Ministers meeting.

The CLMV Ministers would discuss and seek cooperation to reach the common vision of attracting 25 million international tourists to CLMV countries in 2015, he said.

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