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Cambodia marks 3rd Sea Festival in southern Koh Kong province

PHNOM PENH, Dec. 12 (Xinhua) -- The 3rd edition of Sea Festival kicked off on Friday in southern Cambodia's Koh Kong province with an aim to attract more tourists to coastal areas.

In a message to celebrate the festival, Prime Minister Hun Sen said the three-day event was to promote the potential of the country's coastline after it was registered as a member of the Club of the Most Beautiful Bays in the world in 2011. "The development of eco-tourism at coastal areas is essential to preserve the sustainability of environment and to ensure the protection of natural resources,"he said in the message.

The premier said the celebrations clearly reflected the country ' s peace, political stability, good public order and development in all fields.

According to a press release from the Ministry of Tourism, during the three-day festival, visitors will enjoy a variety of entertainments and sports. "There will be live concert, cultural performances, fireworks, food and beverage fair, beach and water sports and aero show,"the press release said.

Kaing Sothea, deputy chief of the promotion and marketing department at the National Olympic Committee, said Friday that the annual festival is expected to welcome tens of thousands of local and foreign visitors.

He said some 13 kinds of sports will be featured at the event, including traditional wrestling, bokator martial arts, boxing, cycling, boat race, Cambodian chess, air sports, beach volleyball, jet skiing and open water swimming.

Cambodia's coastline stretches 450 km over four southern provinces of Preah Sihanouk, Kampot, Kep and Koh Kong.

The Ministry of Tourism said the coastal areas greeted some 500, 000 domestic and foreign visitors last year and is projected to receive up to 2 million by 2020.

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