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Festival visitor numbers increase

Festival visitor numbers increase

The number of tourists to the Kingdom from China, Taiwan and Vietnam has risen markedly during Chinese New Year, which began yesterday, compared with last year’s festival, domestic tourism companies have reported.

The number of rooms booked by Chinese and Taiwanese guests has increased  by about 60 per cent, some hotel operators say.

The Cambodian Association of Travel Agents says final numbers on tourism during the holiday should show an increase of up to 15 per cent.

Chinese New Year is celebrated not only in China but in Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Hong Kong and other countries with big ethnic Chinese populations.

Along with increased tourist numbers, there is a rise in other nationals who work for Chinese companies and bring their families to visit Cambodia during the festival.

Ly Channy, owner of CN International Travel, said her company had received more than 100 groups of guests from Vietnam, whereas last year it catered to only 60 groups, each  consisting of between 30 and 40 guests.

“My company received an increase of 50 to 60 per cent this New Year,” she said.

Ngo Kim, owner of the RTR tour company, said her company had 10 per cent more clients compared to the same time last year.

Most of the visitors were Chinese nationals taking advantage of the New Year holiday to travel, she said.

Ly Channy and Ngo Kim said they would have experienced an even bigger increase in tourist numbers if more hotels rooms had been available, but all the good hotels had been fully booked a week before the holiday started.

Ministry of Tourism Statistics and Tourism Information Department director Kong Sopheareak said the department would not have official visitor numbers until the end of this month.