What's New
By: Kama Samanta & The Servant.. ( June, 2001 Volume 1 No.2 )

Television News

Good News is in the air. The National Television of Kampuchea (TVK) has finally reached an agreement with all her provincial sub-stations to simultaneously broadcast all of the national station's daily programs except for the hour between 8.30pm and 9.30pm in which the sub-stations will telecast their respective provincial news segment. This is certainly good news for everybody. There are seven provincial television stations in the country and all of these state-own stations are better known as sub-stations to the main national station, TVK. These sub-stations are located one each in the provinces of Siem Reap, Battambang, Pursat, Rattanakiri, Kampong Som, Koh Kong, and Mondulkiri.
Since the beginning of this year, TVK has taken in Media Services Limited (MSL), a subsidiary of Singapore based MPL Ltd to be their partner hoping to improve the image of the station by the union. It has. Media Services Limited have spared no efforts to improve on the quality of the programs and judging by the number of good programs currently gracing the screen, it looks like the national station is definitely bouncing back to her former glory. Copyrighted issues of serial movies with original music and effects are a welcome change to the media scene in this country. Folks in the various provinces across the country can now enjoy the improvement simultaneously with folks in the capital city, unlike before. The new partners are jointly producing local Khmer dramas as well and these are scheduled to be release soon on prime time. This reporter understands from a reliable MSL source that the sponsor for the performance by students from of the University of Fine Arts has approached TVK for the show to be telecast live over TVK. This would showcase some of the finest and most authentic cultural performances of the Kingdom. At the time of printing, the dates have not been set yet. However, for those interested in the arts and would like to watch the performances, please check it out by calling Mr. Svay Pich of MSL at Tel. 012 973539. For sports fans who enjoy watching golf tournaments, the Malaysian Open 2001 played on February 22, 2001 will be repeated over TVK on June 24 at 5pm. Also, do watch out for a replay of the Singapore Masters (originally played on March 1) at 5pm on July 8, 2001.

Is Internet A Chance Or Threat To Tourism In Cambodia

In its year 2000 Handbook, the Ministry of Commerce acknowledged the increasing use of modern electronic communication systems as a global trend influencing tourism. Cambodia is pinning many of her hopes on cultural tourism. Can the ancient culture of the Kingdom work with modern technology to enhance people's appreciation of the wonders of Angkor and other attractions? Cultural Tourism Cultural tourism encompasses a wide range of ingredients to intrigue a visitor. It provides that distinct difference that enables Cambodia to stand out against other destinations in the region. Cambodia's heritage, her arts, religious beliefs and the simplicity of the people's life style remain unique selling points. The people of Cambodia's countryside still practice a way of life today similar to those of their ancient forefathers. 3

Tourist Business

The business of travel flourishes under a valuable chain of commercial organizations, each having a different role to play:
· Suppliers are the sources of service in the business of tourism. The physical makings of services such as transportation (airlines, railways), transfers, car rentals and accommodation facilities are all important aspects often taken for granted.
· Tour-Operators are the producers. They market places of interest and this is another aspect of tourism often taken for granted. Their role is to optimize and put together a number of interesting destinations, conscientiously working within a rigid schedule to ensure satisfaction and comfort to the tourist. This can be quite a task considering the time constraints that they often have to work under. Besides accommodating sightseeing schedules, they have to plan for meals and plan travel time including hotels, etc.
· Travel agencies are the brokers. They provide consultations and make the ultimate travel bookings. They sometimes even help to tailor special packages to suit the traveler's demand.
· The tourist is the customer.

Chain of Communication
There are four basic links in the chain of communication to bring the information from the suppliers to the final customer.
1. The traveler books his trip with the travel agency who buys the tour package from the tour operator who buys the services from the supplier.
2. The traveler books his trip with a travel agency who offers products of different tour operators packaged into one.
3. The traveler books at a travel agency that operates as a tour operator buying services from the supplier directly without another tour operator in between.
4. The traveler books directly with the supplier.

The second is the commonly used link.
This involves all partners in the entire chain, from the source of supplies to the customer. Electronic Technology In Tourism The tourist market is an area of worldwide importance. In many countries, tourist figures are escalating and to stay competitive, companies active in the industry rely on a network of communication that the internet conveniently provides. Through the internet, one is able to access 'source' markets and optimize cooperation structures. The travel industry has not escaped the revolution of electronic commerce. Suppliers in Cambodia, their affiliates abroad, airline companies, hotel chains, tour and travel agencies are all gaining leverage on electronic commerce. Many papers and studies describe electronic technology as crucial for the development of economic and social progress in our world. It is true that intensifying the use of telecommunication, especially the use of international computer network, would reduce the gap between the "Rich North And The Poor South" and would help reduce overall poverty. Such is the general opinion of important representatives of telecommunication firms around the world. This may be so, but for people in countries like Cambodia, the situation can be somewhat difficult. There are three pre-conditions to using the Internet. Firstly, one needs a phone connection; second a computer with a modem and thirdly electricity. Such basic items are too often beyond the means of many Cambodians. Cambodian GDP per capita is only $270 and about 40% of the total population is living under poverty line. A modest set of the computerized equipment to access the Internet would cost about U$450 on the average. A further monthly subscription fee of $30 (minimum, excluding charges for usage) to access to the Internet sometimes translates to 30 or even 50 per cent of a person's income. The 1998 National Census showed the percentage of households using electricity was just 15.1 per cent. The corresponding percentage in urban areas is 53.6 per cent. These figures may have increased somewhat over the years, but the fact remains that the cost of electricity is still far too expensive for most people.

On The Net
Surfing the net over the last two weekends to glean information on Cambodia, the writer came across several hundred web sites, most of which are placed by individuals attempting to provide information on Cambodia. The majority of these knew little about the Cambodia of today. Omitting the finer aspects of this beautiful country, most have chosen to either highlight her less fortunate scenario or distastefully post tons of pictures on her negative past instead. Some of the sites have not even been updated for a long time. Amateur website owners who may have lost interest after the novelty of a free attempt at being Webmaster has faded, should remove their sites. Of course there are people who may have lost a leg or hand to landmines in the past but in a modern Cambodia, full of cities bustling with people enthusiastically going about their daily routines, where reports of land mine explosions and injuries have become a rarity, there is a disproportionate number of mentions of this dark past and a lack of emphasis on the different, positive present day. The impression of Cambodia in the minds of many people is still a threatening one, no thanks to these amateurish web sites. Pictures of photographs posted on the walls of the 'Tuol Sleng' death museum when not properly explained, gives innocent people a poor impression and these do not do justice to this beautiful country many of us call home.