Sustainable Tourism Development in Cambodia : A report about positive and negative effects of international tourism

University essay from Karlstads universitet/Fakulteten för samhälls- och livsvetenskaper; Karlstads universitet/Fakulteten för samhälls- och livsvetenskaper


The country Cambodia has in the last recent years prospered as an international tourist destination and the tourism industry has become more recognised as a major source of income. The international tourist destination has therefore come to occupy an important role for the country’s economic development. Concerning the fact that Cambodia is a Third World country the local community can be extremely vulnerable in relation to the consequences that international tourism can create. The project ChildSafe was formed by the organization Friends International as a consequence of the poor situation for street children.

This project works to protect children from all sorts of abuse. This project has also developed information for the international tourist to take part of while visiting the country. This information provides guidelines concerning how to act as a responsible tourist. The aim of this study is consequently to investigate how international tourism can influence the social community in Cambodia.

To limit the research the study will focus on the organization ChildSafe and their work to promote a sustainable social development. It will also focus on the Ministry of Tourism and their work and attitude towards the same issue.

The result of the study shows that international tourism affects the social community in many ways, both positive and negative. International tourism can contribute to the community and create a sustainable social development if there is support, information, incentives or regulations for the tourists that interests them or controls them in a way that is beneficial for the local community.

Both ChildSafe and the Ministry of Tourism agree that the main positive consequence of international tourism for the social community is the revenue that the tourism industry can generate. Concerning the negative impacts of tourism the two organizations differ significantly as ChildSafe identifies many negative consequences for the social community. The Ministry of Tourism, on the other hand, believes that the negative impacts of international tourism do not affect the community significantly.

However, both organizations believe that sustainable tourism can support the local community and create a sustainable social development. It is concluded from the work done by ChildSafe that international tourism can be used to promote the social community, but only if there is support and information for the international tourists when they arrive in the country. Finally, it is concluded that support from the Ministry of Tourism is needed as it is believed that they possess the greatest power of change for the tourist destination Cambodia.

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