Marissa Carruthers

Marissa Carruthers

Extract from TTG Asia

Tourism has the potential to change communities

Tourism is the tool Samnang Nuonsimoeum a 17-year-old Cambodian and his fellow Liger Leadership Academy classmates have employed to bring about change within their communities.

Led by Samnang, Sreypich Khon, 17, Sopheak Thy and Marady Heang, both 16, Journeys of Change was launched in September 2017 as part of Liger’s innovative curriculum that aims to create Cambodia’s next generation of leaders, problem-solvers and entrepreneurs. […]

Now, Journeys of Change is gearing up to launch a second tour that introduces visitors to the capital’s colorful array of markets, and there are plans in the pipeline to start a sustainable shopping tour in the capital.
Samnang said: “We don’t want to use communities as a commodity; we want to empower them. And we want to show visitors the real Cambodia and share our experiences.”

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“Once you arrive at Keemala, it is the personal touch and bespoke experiences that really make a lasting impression for our guests,” she says. “From personalised villa host service to customised celebrations ranging from romantic date nights to engagements and weddings, private excursions, and cultural immersion experiences. For us, and our guests, it is these little touches that make all the difference.”


IHHVTC is part of the Inle Heritage Foundation, a not-for-profit organization working to preserve and enhance the culture of Inle Lake and the people who call it home. The Foundation began as just “Heritage House”, a stilt building in the middle of the lake used as a sanctuary for Burmese cats being reintroduced to the country.


Aung Kyaw Swar is the owner of A Little Eco Lodge, a small guesthouse on the outskirts of Nyaung Shwe. We are looking out on a field of a couple of acres where in a few months – and then only for several weeks – a hundred heads of sunflower will bloom. The sound of monks from the nearby monastery is receding into the distance.