Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Bavet border crossings up 6.2%

Bavet border crossings up 6.2%

Bavet border crossings up 6.2%

The number of foreigners arriving into Cambodia from its biggest border with Vietnam at the Bavet international crossing in Svay Rieng province increased 6.2 per cent in the first six months of this year compared with the same period in 2012.

Data from the checkpoint show that 394,188 foreigners entered Cambodia in Bavet in the first half of the year, compared to 371,047 in the corresponding time frame.

Vietnamese topped the list, followed by Chinese, Americans, South Koreans and Australians, according to an official at the checkpoint, who asked not to be named because he was not authorised to speak to the media.

Cambodian crossings into Vietnam from January through June at the same border increased by a little more than three per cent to reach 104,788, up from 101,460 a year earlier.

The Vietnam to Cambodia crossings are a mix of tourists, business owners, merchants and families visiting relatives on the other side.

In total, Cambodia received around 1.8 million tourists in the first five months of this year, the most recently available official statistics from the Ministry of Tourism showed.

Vietnam took the lead in tourism, accounting for 340,000 visitors. South Korea scored second with some 215,000 tourists, followed by China with around 132,000 visitors.

Tith Chantha, general director of tourism at the Ministry of Tourism, said the number of visitors crossing the Cambodia-Vietnam border increases at a slow pace because the figures are already so high.

While he has not yet received the latest official tourist data for all gateways, including air travel, he said he assumes the number will go up due to crossings at Poipet at the Thai border. Referring to tensions over the Preah Vihear temple, he said that the numbers will rise because the relationship between Cambodia and Thailand has returned to normal.

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