By: Arthur Nguyen dao

From September 17th to 19th, the Ministry of Tourism of Cambodia will host in Phnom Penh the 37th Travel Mart of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA).pata1

What is it?
Founded in 1951, the PATA is a not-for profit association internationally applauded for being a major actor in channeling responsible development of travel and tourism in the Asia pacific region. The association’s travel mart has become a well-known institution for it has taken a leadership position as the premier travel trade show in the region. For the past 36 years, travel buyers and sellers from all over the world use this annual meeting as a hub to showcase their products and services. It is the place to be for the creation of international partnerships.

This year’s Mart features a unique innovation. The first-time ever Responsible Travel Pavilion has been created for organizations with proven responsible and sustainable business practices. It will be a unique gathering of like-minded organizations with an exceptional opportunity to network, share knowledge, experiences and lessons learned.

pata2What has Phare to do with it?
Phare the Cambodian Circus is extremely proud to have the honor of being selected for the Responsible Tourism Pavilion. Similarly to what happened in Bangladesh, successfully getting through the screening process is another international recognition of our commitment to being a responsible tourism entity as well as socially and environmentally responsible.

pata3What makes Phare a socially responsible business?
Phare the Cambodian Circus is a Lonely Planet Top Choice, and one of the top TripAdvisor reviewed attraction for the Siem Reap nightlife, yes. But not only. Under the great entertainment lays a whole organization directed at one single goal: funding Phare Ponleu Selpak.

pata4Phare Performing Social Enterprise is the embodiment of responsible tourism in Cambodia. Indeed, the organization provides for gainful employment and professional development for young Cambodian artists coming from extremely difficult social and economic backgrounds.
So, revenue from tickets, souvenir and refreshment goes to sustain free education. On top of it, donations, royalties and dividends of the enterprise also go to Phare Ponleu Selpak.
But what exactly do we seek to finance?

We seek to fund social programs including nutrition program, free primary medical care, school uniforms and materials, with social services. Free of charge public school for all, including Kindergarten, creative learning programs with the Child Development Center, and a library.

Visual and applied art schools as an extra-curricular activity or in the vocational training program in graphic design, web design, and illustration or animation film.

Performing arts school to answer psycho-social needs, to support national peaceful development and to foster the growth of Cambodian arts. There, the circus department gives also international opportunities, the music department teaches both traditional and modern styles along with providing for a recording studio. Then, the theater department focuses on touring awareness theatre projects.

Last year in Chengdu, China, over 10,000 business appointments were conducted during the PATA Travel Mart. This year, not less is expected in Phnom Penh and we will be part of it to internationalize our audience even more.

Are you going to be part of our great adventure?  It happens every day at 8:00PM, come to enjoy a great show and help us help others!