International tourist arrivals in Siem Reap province soared considerably in an eight month period this year compared to previous years, according to an official.
Chhoeuy Chhan, Deputy Director of Siem Reap Provincial Tourism Department, said they in Siem Reap increased by more than 30 per cent.
According to official statistics, foreign tourists arriving totaled more than 1,365,000 in the last eight months, a 30.27 per cent increase compared with more than 1,048,000 the previous year.
Chhoeuy Chhan said at least 85 per cent among these tourists bought tickets to visit the Angkor Wat compound.
He said South Korean tourists, who score highest in the tourist arrivals, increased by 41.06 per cent, from more than 16,000 to over 23,000. Vietnamese tourists came in second, followed by Chinese, Japanese and Thai tourists.
Despite huge increases in numbers, the historical tourism site could still accommodate them because the province has 152 hotels consisting of more than 10,000 rooms, along with 220 guesthouses with more than 3,000 rooms.
“There are not enough rooms during the big national festivals,” he said, but generally there are enough.
There has been an increase in Vietnamese tourists arriving in Cambodia but their benefit is not as great as other foreign tourists, according to a tourism-related service provider.
Seng Phalkun, Managing Director of Travel Loops tour company and owner of Siem Reap-based Noon Night Market, said Vietnamese tourists spent little on souveniers and other service packages.
“Vietnamese are not good for business because their budget is still low," said Seng Phalkun.
“Service packages for Vietnamese are really cheap,” he said. “For example, the cost of a hotel room could be US$30, but for Vietnamese customers, it is $22 per night,” said Seng Phalkun.
On World Tourism Day 2012, Prime Minister Hun Sen said that in 2011 Cambodia received approximately 2.8 million international tourists, an increase of 16 per cent compared with last year.
For the first seven months of 2012, international tourist arrivals to Cambodia totaled about 2 million, an increase of 25 per cent.
To contact the reporter on this story: Rann Reuy at firstname.lastname@example.org