Holiday in Singapore is becoming a reality for many Cambodians.
As record numbers of foreign tourists are set to come to Cambodia this year, Cambodian
tourist are also setting records.
About 700,000 Cambodians this year are taking foreign vacations, traveling most often
to neighboring Asian countries for their holidays, travel agents and travel association
Ho Vandy, president of Cambodia Association of Travel Agents, said Cambodians take
tours most often to Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong.
"More than 300 tour agencies are operating across the country and they are trying
overseas tours with appropriate prices so that the local tourists can afford traveling,"
said Vandy, who is also co-president of the Government-Private Sector Forum's Tourism
A staff member at Wanly Travel, which organizes foreign tours every Saturday and
asked not to be named said that most Cambodian tourists want to go to China, as well
as Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam. The most popular times of year for
travel are during Khmer ceremonies and holidays.
"They like traveling by tour as it is cheaper than travel in private. They like
traveling in a group or family," she said. "We give them good service and
Vandy said the competition among travel agencies for the local tourist is increasing
and as long as travel agencies are transparent in their pricing, the long term potential
of the business looks good.
Minister of Tourism Thong Khon said the increase in the number of Cambodian tourists
traveling abroad is a result of the improved standard of living for many Cambodians.
He said about 200,000 Cambodians go to Vietnam and about 100,000 to Thailand a year.
"I think around half of million Cambodian people are touring abroad annually,"
said Khon. "This number does not include the people who go for work and businesses."
That number is estimated at 5 to 7 million.
Voch Sreyka, a vendor at Central Market (Psar Thmei), told the Post she recently
traveled with her family to Singapore on vacation. She said the family has been to
Sihanoukville and Siem Reap so many times they wanted to do something different.
"We have a lot of tourism sites in our country but it is different in other
countries," said Sreyka. "The price is reasonable and we could see different
Neighboring countries including Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia have been promoting
their resorts to Cambodians. Last week ministers of tourism from Cambodia, Vietnam
and Laos signed an agreement to strengthen tourism cooperation between the three