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Up to 8,000 people turned out for this year’s CAMFOOD expo on Koh Pich in September, relishing the chance to discover more about Cambodia’s increasingly diverse and fascinating hospitality sector including, of course, Thalias Group.

More than 350 companies from 26 countries, including Cambodia, China, France, Italy, South Korea, Malaysia, Taiwan, Thailand and Singapore, showcased their foods, drinks, equipment and services over three days to an interested audience. This exhibition has become a vital source of news and information for Cambodia’s burgeoning hospitality sector, and a great opportunity for venues to show off their teams’ skills thanks to a series of hotly contested competitions.

Thalias was there to compete too and we’re delighted with our teams and all their hard work, which was rewarded with a heap of medals. Congratulations to all who took part, and especially to Pech Sreyneath of Topaz who took away the gold medal for her Appetiser.

Heartfelt congratulations too to Phoung Chandoeun of Topaz who won a gold medal for his creation in the Beef Challenge, Hak Panharith and In Rotha of Khéma Pasteur who won silver medals for Live Cake Decoration and creating a Plated Dessert, and to the Khéma La Poste and Khéma Pasteur teams who took away the silver and bronze medals for Table Setting.

CAMFOOD was also an opportunity to network with industry peers and potential partners, and there was a wonderful turn out for the French Night cocktails and networking event where it was possible to savour the best of French food and wine, and sample the creations of two exceptional chefs, Johan LeClerre and Frédéric Jaunault, both of whom have been selected as a Meilleur Ouvrier de France (one of France’s best craftsmen).

Camfood 2018 - Thalias blog post

Speaking at the opening of the exhibition, Luu Meng of Thalias and President of the Cambodian Tourism Federation highlighted the importance of the food industry in Cambodia. “It’s a sector that delivers high-quality jobs, and turns on innovation…” he said, while Excellency Pak Sokhom, the minister for tourism, noted the importance of Cambodia’s hospitality sector to one of the countries most important drivers of growth, its tourism sector.

Nearly 5.6 million international tourists visited the Kingdom last year, 11.8% more than in 2016 and 4.3 million of whom came from the Asia Pacific. In 2017, the tourism sector accounted for 13% of GDP, generating $3.4 billion in revenue, and creating 620,000 direct jobs, according to the Ministry of Tourism.

It was a wonderful event for all of us and we extend our thanks too to all of the organisations who put together another fantastic event and landmark in Cambodia’s development of a world-class hospitality sector, especially to the Cambodia Tourism Federation, the Cambodia Hotel Association, the Cambodia Restaurant Association, the Cambodia Chefs Federation, the Cambodia Chef Association and the Cambodia Sommelier Association.