Some 136 cyclo drivers joined the Cyclo Racing 2019 organised in Phnom Penh this morning with an aim to preserve this traditional mean of transportation for tourism.
The cyclo race took place on a one-kilometre-long track at a public park in Sangkat Chroy Changvar, Khan Chroy Changvar.
The event was presided over by Minister of Tourism H.E. Thong Khon and Phnom Penh Municipal Governor H.E. Khuong Sreng.
The purpose of this first ever race is to inspire the public to support and take part in conserving cyclo in Cambodia, said H.E. Thong Khon, stressing that cyclo is not only a green transport, but also a key tourism product.
The first winner got a cash prize of 400,000 Riel (US$100), while the two runners up, 320,000 Riel (US$80) and 240,000 Riel (US$60), respectively.
Cyclo, consisting of a tricycle with the passenger compartment up front, is a typical form of public transport used in the country since the 1930s. Cyclo usually can contain the maximum of two passengers.
The Royal Government has been paying attention to the preservation of cyclo and to the improvement of cyclo drivers' living standard. A Cyclo Foundation, initiated by Prime Minister Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen, was launched in January last year, while cyclo drivers have access to the same welfare protection as other informal workers such as free medical care at the state-run hospitals as well as daily financial support for the cyclo rent and maintenance, and food.
Since 2018, Samdech Techo Hun Sen, also the Foundation's Honorary President, holds annually a get-together with cyclo drivers from across the country.
In 2013, a Memorandum of Understanding on Cyclo Preservation Cooperation was signed by Cyclo Conservation and Careers Association and Tourism Industry Associations to promote tourism industry in Cambodia through the provision of cyclo's transport services for tourists.
Source: Agency Kampuchea Press