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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Local, foreign tourists head to beach for festival

Local, foreign tourists head to beach for festival

The cancellation of some Water Festival events had sent local and foreign tourists to Cambodia’s beaches, tourism officials and industry insiders said yesterday.

Bin Biev, the director of Koh Kong province’s tourism department, estimated more than 15,000 local and international tourists would visit the province during the three-day holiday, up from about 10,000 last year.

“The increase in tourists to Koh Kong is related to the cancellation of Water Festival events in Phnom Penh, as  well as the fact Koh Kong province has family travel destinations,” Bin Biev said.

The stampede on Diamond Island that killed 347 people during last year’s festival had scared people from coming to Phnom Penh, he added.

Most of the visitors to Koh Kong’s beaches are  from Phnom Penh, but more than 5,000 Thai tourists are expected as well.

Seng Tha, deputy chief of tourism in Preah Sihanouk province, said the number of tourists coming to the province for the festival should rise this year, although figures were not available yesterday.

Despite many festivities in the capital having been cancelled, foreign visitors were not deterred from visiting the Kingdom, Cambodia Association of Travel Agents president Ang Kim Eang said yesterday.

He agreed that beach resorts would benefit from the cancellations.

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