Foreign tourist arrivals in the Kingdom increased by more than 15 per cent between January and October compared to the same period in 2010, Ministry of Tourism data showed.
Officials attributed the arrival of 2.3 million foriegn visitors during the first 10 months of the year to the increasing popularity of seaside and mountain locations alongside Cambodia’s traditional attractions such as Angkor Wat. Some 2.1 million came to Cambodia in 2010, according to ministry data.
“We will see the current 15 per cent increase maintained until the end of the year, with 2.8 million [foreign] visitors coming,” Kong Sophearak, director of the Ministry of Tourism Department of Statistics and Tourism Information, said yesterday.
Cambodian coastal sites will begin to play a more important role in attracting guests from abroad, Kong Sophearak said, adding that the Kingdom’s 440-kilometre shore last spring was included in the Club of the Most Beautiful Bays of the World.
Borkor Mountain National Park in Kampot province is also drawing more tourists, the minister said, although Angkor Wat still remains Cambodia’s number one foreign tourist destination.
Continued increases in the sector – driven by the relative low price of travel in Cambodia compared to neigbouring countries – has made the Kingdom’s industry the fastest growing in ASEAN, according to Ho Vandy, co-chair of the Tourism Working Group, part of the Government-Private Sector Forum. He cited recent tourism seminars as the sources of the information.
More than 400 tourism companies now operate in Cambodia, Ho Vandy said. A majority of the firms, however, are not registered with the Cambodia Association of Travel Agents.