The number of Vietnamese tourists visiting Cambodia and Cambodians visiting Vietnam has increased recently, according to new data released by the Cambodian tourism ministry.
Vietnam has the largest number of tourists visiting Cambodia at 600,000, or 21 per cent, of all international visitors.
In the first quarter this year there was an 18 per cent increase in the number of Vietnamese tourists compared to the same time last year, said Thong Khon, Cambodia’s tourism minister.
“Most Vietnamese tourists who come to Cambodia visit Angkor Wat and many report that they like Cambodian fish and enjoy visiting Cambodian markets,” said Thong Khon.
The Cambodian tourism ministry estimates that the number of Cambodians visiting Vietnam has increased by 30 per cent annually over the past several years.
“About 420,000 Cambodians visit Vietnam annually, and many go there for health care,” said Thong Khon.
He said the ministry is very interested in increasing tourism between not only Vietnam but especially other nearby ASEAN nations.
“We have a lot of projects to increase tourism in the region,” he said.
Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam held talks on the subject at the 8th International Travel Expo in Ho Chi Minh City from September 14 to 17 last year, and the Cambodian tourism ministry plans to attend another from the September 13 to 15 this year, he said.
Vietnam and Cambodia now have a cross-border transportation agreement under which 19 companies have licences to operate.
Thirty-nine trips with 300 buses travel to and from Ho Chi Minh and Phnom Penh every day, according to the Cambodian tourism ministry.
Recently another luxury bus service, offering six trips a day to Phnom Penh from Ho Chi Minh City, has been launched by the Cambodian tourism ministry and NagaWorld Group.
To contact the reporter on this story: Abe Becker at email@example.com