European Council on Tourism and Trade President, Professor Dr. Anton Caragea attended the General meeting of world tourism community had celebrated the world level achievers in tourism and culture in a glittering display on 22 june 2016, hosted by the Peace Palace in Phnom Penh.
President Dr. Anton Caragea officiated over the important moment for world tourism when the Kingdom of Cambodia was officially crowned as WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION FOR 2016 and universally acclaimed as FAVORITE CULTURAL DESTINATION IN 2016.
A small selection of quotes from the powerful speech delivered by ECTT President can be observed here:
WORD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION FOR 2016-CAMBODIA
ECTT President-Professor Dr. ANTON CARAGEA
Your Excellency Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Dr. HUN SEN- Prime Minister of Kingdom of Cambodia,
Your Excellency Mr. Thong Khon – Minister of Tourism,
Esteemed members of Royal Government of Cambodia, of Parliament of Cambodia, distinguished member’s diplomatic corps
All protocol observed
We are all assembled here, on the venue of the most important global cultural event: WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION AWARDS, to celebrate the country and the personalities that had contributed outstandingly to humanity evolution.
Humanity, a word that must encompass our greatest achievement: culture, history, development and tourism.
This year theme of world community is concentrated around the role of CULTURE AND HISTORY in shaping our life`s and destinies.
Culture is the bedrock of societies, nations and civilizations.
We have to put the world at the right hour: the hour of culture, of history, of civilization!
Culture and history must be recognized not as resource consuming, but as major economic factors, that helps countries to develop and enrich themselves in more ways than just simple economic value.
Countries and peoples are rediscovering themselves by tourism, cultures are resurrected, history is re-lived and people are creating new opportunities by tourism development.
What is a country that is having all of the industrial and technical riches of the world but does not have the cultural contribution, civilization achievements and a history to look after and preserve?
The answer is: nothing!
Industrial patrimony is becoming obsolete, technology goes yearly outdated: while the history and patrimony are enriching and are becoming more valuable day after day.
Everything fears time, but time fears history, says a valuable proverb!
This is the answer why rich countries are spending billions in preserving what little history they have, in creating a tradition and a civilization out of nothing!
Because they realize, that by material values alone they will count for little!
History and culture are the true indicators of a country and a people values and standing in the world.
Today, in XXI century, culture, tourism and historical patrimony are humanity tools of choice for building bridges of information, understanding and cooperation in the world.
In this new world, when tourism is the center of the economy, culture is the heart of a nation and traveling is the new diplomacy that is shaping peoples and nations destiny, there is no more important moment, as the moment when world tourism is choosing his World Best Tourist Destination.
We are fully aware of the importance of our choice, as we have in some years to support tourism as a vector for economic development, others when we have to privilege tourism as factor of unity in the world, but some time we are fortunate to select our winner on the fundamental base: that TOURISM IS WORLD EDUCATOR.
This, on the account that our decision must lead the way for tourists to discover and rediscover new horizons , to open themselves to new cultures, to immerse in the understanding of new ways of life and creeds.
Our presence here: must be a signal of re-emphasizing our commitment to place history, patrimony and cultural legacy on the world spotlight.
We must never let us forget, the simple truth that: our main duty as a world institution is to make tourism a bridge toward culture, a pathway to understanding the world.
In a time when many are preaching dogmatism and narrow mindedness we must insure that by simple act of tourism we touch the soul and the imagination of the traveler.
This is the rationale, the powerful driving force that etched our decision to universally proclaim THE KINGDOM OF CAMBODIA as World Best Tourist Destination for 2016.
We could not think at any country more suitable, to teach the world, the real value of culture, the significance of historical patrimony in the resurgence of a nation and in creating a new scale of values in the world like CAMBODIA.