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2m tourists visited in '09: official

2m tourists visited in '09: official

VISITOR arrivals in 2009 breached the 2 million mark for the second year running, despite the sector being hit hard by the impact of the global economic crisis, Minister of Tourism Thong Khon said.

In a televised speech marking New Year’s Eve, the minister said 2.18 million people visited Cambodia last year, around 2 percent more than the 2.12 million that visited in 2008.

“We hope that there will be more tourists to visit Cambodia in 2010 as service quality in the country has been strengthened and expanded,” he said.

Ministry figures up to the end of November showed that 1,926,615 people arrived in Cambodia by land, sea or air in the first 11 months of the year, or 1.6 percent more than the same period a year earlier.

Thong Khon’s estimate puts December arrivals at about 260,000, far more than the 195,570 people that visited Cambodia in November.

Official figures show that the number of people visiting by air fell 11.58 percent in the first 11 months of the year compared with the same period in 2008. Analysts say air arrivals are the key indicator as they tend to stay longer and spend more.

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