Cambodia garnered over $32 million from ticket sales to foreign tourists at Angkor Archaeological Park in Siem Reap province in the first 11 months of 2023. This represents an increase of more than 260% compared to the same period in 2022, as reported by state-run Angkor Enterprise (AE).

An AE press release on December 1 stated that from January to November 2023, approximately 699,996 foreign guests purchased tickets to the park. This resulted in earnings of $32.55 million, a 210.85% increase from the previous year, and a 261.12% rise in revenue.

The enterprise – tasked with managing ticket sales at the park and Chong Kneas floating village in Siem Reap and at Koh Ker temple complex in neighbouring Preah Vihear province – also generated $685,233 from ticket sales at Koh Ker and boat ticket sales at Chong Kneas, amounting to $184,200 and $501,033 respectively.

Khieu Thy, president of the Khmer Angkor Tourist Guide Association (KATGA), stated that although the number of foreign visitors to Siem Reap is increasing, the growth has not been significant. 

He said this is likely due to the ongoing global political and economic situations and the lack of new tourism products compared to other regional countries. 

“In neighbouring nations, such as Thailand, they not only extensively advertise but also excel in aesthetics, environmental management and offer high-quality souvenirs, unlike in Cambodia where counterfeit souvenirs are still prevalent despite authorities’ efforts,” he said.

Thy emphasised the need for greater collaboration between the government and the private sector, in terms of planning and participating in tourism-supportive activities.

He attributed the recent increase in foreign arrivals to the current peak tourist season, rather than any other factors.

Chhay Sivlin, president of the Cambodia Association of Travel Agents (CATA), noted that despite subsiding concerns over global Covid-19 cases, the number of foreign travellers, especially from China, remains low compared to pre-2020 levels.

She pointed out that the slow growth in numbers is partly due to unflattering media coverage about the country, which influences potential visitors’ decisions. 

“Negative news from abroad has impacted the influx of some foreign tourists to Cambodia. However, we are hopeful for an improvement moving forward,” she said.

In 2022, AE earned $11.78 million from ticket sales to foreign guests. This included $11.53 million from the Angkor park, $90,450 from Koh Ker and $165,308 from Chong Kneas floating village. 

The record for most tourist arrivals was in 2019, with over 6.6 million, generating over $80.7 million in ticket sales for AE, as per the enterprise.

Established in 2016, AE operates under the supervision of the Ministry of Tourism and the Ministry of Economy and Finance. 

Ticket prices for the Angkor park are categorised into three tiers: one-day tickets at $37, three-day tickets at $62 and seven-day tickets at $72.