The recently released Ministry of Tourism report for 2006 shows that Cambodia's
tourism industry continues to experience steady growth, with almost two million
tourists entering the country last year.
International arrivals peaked at
a record 1.7 million, an increase of 19.6 percent from 2005, and earnings from
the industry grew by some 26 percent to $1.05 billion.
Lay Prohas, the
minister of tourism, said the growth was a huge benefit to the
"Our biggest potential field in Cambodia is tourism," Prohas
said. "Tourism creates jobs and brings steady income for the nation and leads to
Ly Korm, president of Cambodian Tourism and Service Workers
Federation, said the industry is now a major employer.
660,000 people get jobs in the tourism industry, compared to about 330,000 in
factories," he said.
But Korm warned the accelerated growth had placed
pressure on employees' rights.
"I have seen a lot of abuses of the labor
law," he said. "Some workers don't have annual leave, and don't get a day off
each week. And when workers take a few days off for health reasons their salary
The report showed that the largest source of tourists was the
Republic of Korea, providing 16.8 percent of visitors in 2006, followed by
Japan, 9.3 percent, US, 7.3 percent, and Taiwan, China, Vietnam, Malaysia,
Thailand, UK and France, each contributing between 4 and 5 percent. The average
length of a stay for an individual tourist increased to 6.5 days, compared with
6.3 in 2005, with an average daily spending rate of $95, up $2.
percent of international visitors cited holiday as the main reason for traveling
to Cambodia. Business, official travel, visiting friends and relatives, and
other reasons made up the remaining 20 percent.
Air transport remained
the most popular mode of entry into the country - accounting for 60.4% of total
International arrivals via land and water check
points increased 33.2 percent, with the Thai border crossing at Poipet the most
frequented, followed by Preah Vihear, and the Vietnamese border crossings of
Bavet, Cham Yeam, Daung, Sihanoukville, and Kaamsamnor.
confident that the growth could be sustained over the long term.
future, tourism will continue to contribute to the development of the country,"
he said. "Cambodia is good for tourists. Cambodians are always smiling and are
warm and hospitable and we have all kinds of attractions, both cultural and
"My vision hope for next ten or twenty years, is to attract as
many tourists as there are Cambodians," he said. "One tourist for every