Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Foreign arrivals dip as locals travel more

Foreign arrivals dip as locals travel more

Foreign arrivals dip as locals travel more

THE Ministry of Tourism said it will rely on domestic tourism to ensure a 2 percent predicted increase in tourist numbers for 2009, as it reported a drop in foreign tourists to Cambodia.

Kong Sophearak, director of the ministry's statistics department, told the Post Tuesday that he expects 2 million foreign tourists this year generating revenue of US$1.5 billion.

Last year 2.12 million foreigners visited Cambodia, he said, but the number of foreign visitors has fallen 2.2 percent in the first five months to 946,000. "But we can see the number of domestic tourists is four or fivefold larger than the number of foreign tourists," he said.

Ministry figures showed that 2.85 million Cambodians travelled domestically in the first five months, a rise of 5.3 percent on 2008 compared with 6.7 million for the whole of 2008.

"Local travellers are the key to generating revenue in tourism these days," he said. "We are like China, which relies on its own people to spend money."

Kong Sophearak blamed the drop in foreign tourists on the global economic crisis, the border dispute with Thailand and political upheaval in Bangkok.

Minister of Tourism Thong Khon said Cambodians don't have the spare cash to venture abroad, and the spread of swine flu has made them keener to stay in the Kingdom.

Ang Kim Eang, president of the Cambodian Association of Travel Agents, said his organisation plans to distribute a guide book letting domestic travellers know about exciting local destinations and to encourage them to buy domestic goods.

MOST VIEWED

  • Temi tourism project approved by the CDC

    The $500.4 million Tourism, Ecological, Marine and International (Temi) tourism project has been approved by the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC), according to a notice on its Facebook page on Monday. The project is part of Chinese-owned Union City Development Group Co Ltd’s (

  • Rainsy will return at ‘favourable time’

    Opposition figure Sam Rainsy on Saturday suggested he would not return to Cambodia as he had previously promised, saying that like liberators King Father Norodom Sihanouk and Charles de Gaulle, he would only do so at a “favourable time”. “I will go back to Cambodia

  • NagaWorld casino sees net profit of more than $390M last year

    Phnom Penh’s NagaWorld casino posted a 53 per cent net profit increase last year at $390.6 million, a sum which is almost equal to the combined net profit of all Cambodian commercial banks in 2017. NagaWorld’s parent company, NagaCorp Ltd, is listed on the Hong Kong

  • US Embassy urged to stop ‘disrespecting sovereignty’

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation called on the US Embassy in Phnom Penh on Saturday to respect the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations after it called former opposition leader Kem Sokha “an innocent man” – a move deemed to be “disrespecting Cambodia’s