According to statistics from the Siem Reap provincial tourism department obtained by Chinese news agency Xinhua, the Ankgor heritage site received 694,700 visitors during the first quarter of 2013, an 8 per cent increase from the same period last year.
Chinese tourists were up by 77 per cent to 87,104, while Vietnamese tourists were down 39 per cent to 45,760, according to Xinhua.
Cambodia Association of Travel Agents president Ang Kim Eang attributes the rise in Chinese visitors to the strong relations between the Kingdom and China, as well as an increased number of flights.
“The relationships between the two governments are very close, which encourages people of those countries to do business and tourism exchanges,” he said.
“There are more non-stop flights now from China to Cambodia.”
Ho Vandy, co-chair of the government-private sector working group on tourism, said he is not too concerned by the drop in Vietnamese visitors and expects year-end figures to increase.
Along with increased flights and enhanced relations, Vandy said an easy visa application process and greater promotion in China also contributed to the rise in Chinese tourism numbers.
“In the tourism working group, we talk about the visa application, on how to help tourists from China to make it easier to apply or enter Cambodia,” he said.
According to data from the Ministry of Tourism, the number of international tourists in Cambodia increased by 24.4 per cent last year, from 2.88 million in 2011 to 3.58 million in 2012.
Of those, just over 763,000, or 21.3 per cent, were from Vietnam.