Local and foreign tourists flocked to the Kingdom’s various tourist destinations for New Year’s Eve in higher numbers than ever before, according to provincial officials.
Chhoeuy Chhorn, deputy director of the Siem Reap Provincial Tourism Department, said the province received 100, 400 visitors from December 30 to January 1, 2015, an increase of 15.2 per cent from the same period in 2013.
“Local tourists started to return to their hotels at 1am while foreign tourists celebrated until early morning.”
Local visitors reached 73,000, up 17.74 per cent, while the number of foreign visitors increased almost 9 per cent to 27,400 visitors, Chhorn went on to say.
Meanwhile, Sihanoukville also received around 110,000 visitors during the same timespan, said Nou Sophal, director of the beach town’s Tourism Department.
“The number of visitors remained at around 70,000 until the night of 31st when the crowds, coming from different districts, gathered for fireworks and a concert at Ochheuteal Beach,” he said.
Less well-known destinations also joined in, with Battambang organising its first New Year’s Eve celebration, said Uch Omthiny Sara, director of the Battambang Tourism Department.
“This is the first time we celebrate this, [and] the crowd was estimated at around 30,000 on New Year’s Eve.”
Sara added that Battambang, known for its colonial architecture, would organise even larger festivities next year to compete with Siem Reap and Sihanoukville.