Minister of Tourism Thong Khon has shared local visitor numbers, noting that the figures recorded in the first seven months of the year means it is likely to achieve the domestic tourism goal it had set for 2023. As of the end of July, the ministry recorded more than 12 million domestic tourists, three-quarters of its goal of 16 million.

Khon predicted that the Kingdom will also greet five million international guests by the end of the year.

He revealed the figures while addressing the 8th Khmer Empire International Marathon 2023, held on August 6 in Siem Reap province. The event attracted more than 2,500 people from 45 countries.

The minister believes the increase in runners reflects the fact that tourists have observed the peace Cambodia enjoys, and the excellent preparations made by the organising committee.

“They have witnessed the sustainable peace and stability of the nation. In addition, the APSARA National Authority [ANA] have prepared the tourism sites beautifully. They are not just for Cambodians – many foreign visitors are also interested in relaxing and taking part in sports here,” he explained.

“I expect that this year Cambodia will receive 5 million international tourists and about 16 million locals. By 2026, the number of international visitors should increase to about 7 million,” he added.

Ho Vandy, an adviser to the Cambodia Association of Travel Agents, noted that the months of July and August usually see less internal tourist movement due to the rainy season, which can cause flash floods in some locations. It is also important to remember that there are no national holidays during this period, he added.

“This is the low season, so it is normal to see a reduction in the number of guests. The flow of visitors will begin in September, with the celebration of the traditional Buddhist festival of Kan Ben and Pchum Ben, which may lead to a growth in tourism in line with the ministry’s expectations,” he said.