The number of daily domestic trips during regular Saturdays and Sundays has averaged nearly 160,000 in the last couple of months, according to the tourism ministry, eclipsing the figures seen around the same time last year as effective pandemic management brought active Covid-19 cases back to zero.
The Ministry of Tourism now estimates that over 10 million domestic trips will be made this year, more than doubling compared to 4.66 million in 2021. This marks a roughly one-quarter increase from a previous projection of just eight million released by the ministry in mid-May.
Ministry data shows that 621,598 domestic trips were made on the five days June 4-6 and 11-12, whereas the corresponding figure surpassed 1.2 million in the eight days of the four full weekends of May.
More than six million domestic trips were made during the 10 days April 14-15 and the four full weekends of that month, nearly 5.176 million of which occurred from April 14-17, or over the Khmer New Year holidays.
Tourism minister Thong Khon reported that 2.8 million domestic trips were made in the first quarter of this year, which he said had been a 48 per cent increase year-on-year.
Cambodia Association of Travel Agents adviser Ho Vandy told The Post on June 15 that visitorship to the Kingdom’s outdoor leisure spots – known locally as “romeak’ni-yakthan” – has rocketed since mid-March after a major de-escalation of pandemic measures, a trend he predicts will continue on the back of pent-up demand for travel, as active Covid cases remain at or near zero.
He commented that eco-tourism has became a boom trade of late, due to the wide variety of destinations – many with a diverse selection of eateries nearby – as well as all-around pleasant weather and a hearty appetite for tent-based adventures among Cambodians.
The cultural tourism market, however, has been stagnant, Vandy said.
The tourism minister recently mentioned that the rebound in travel has provided huge local and national economic benefits.
Khon chalked up the rapid recovery in domestic tourism to the herd immunity-focused mass Covid-19 vaccination campaigns and a whole host of other government strategies, all of which he said inspire confidence in people and encourage them to embark on cross-country trips.