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Siem Reap to connect to Brunei, Indonesia

HIGH-RANKING officials from the Ministry of Tourism said Sunday that international flights are set to link Siem Reap with Indonesia and Brunei in order to boost tourism.

Tith Chantha, director general of the ministry, said that Cambodia would launch connections with the temple complex site Borobudur in Java, Indonesia in April this year. Brunei flights will follow later.

“If the plan is successful, we believe that more and more tourists will come to visit Cambodia. We hope that tourist numbers will increase around 10 percent in coming years. We are now discussing technical matters in order to facilitate the flights,” said Tith Chantha.

Cambodia is trying to create direct flights with all ASEAN countries in an attempt to make tourist travel easier. So far, routes have been set up with Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia and Laos.

In late 2009, Cambodia announced that it would directly link flights with the Philippines.

On Sunday, an official from the ministry said the first direct flights have not started due to technical issues but would commence once the problems are solved. It was not immediately clear what those issues were.

Ang Kim Eang, president of Cambodia’s Association of Travel Agents, said Sunday that Cambodia is an attractive destination for tourists, as the country offers appealing cultural sites and ecotourism. But he added that the nation has international flight links with too few countries in the region.

“We believe that the more flight links we have, the more tourists we will receive,” he said.

According to a report from the ministry, 1,111,729 out of the 2,161,577 tourists who visited Cambodia in 2009 entered the country by air. The remaining people came via land and water.

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