INBOUND foreign tourists at the Poipet International Checkpoint with Thailand increased more than 26 percent year-on-year between January and August, according to checkpoint statistics. More than 273,969 foreign tourists and traders entered Cambodia during the first eight months of the year, up from 216,546 during the same time period last year.
“We saw that foreign tourists maintained a strong increase this year and Thai tourists have increased since the situation along Cambodia-Thailand border got better,” Leak Romanea, director of administration at the Poipet Checkpoint Police Office, said yesterday. “It is a good sign. We see people from both countries doing trade better since the situations went back to normal.”
About 3,700 Thai tourists visited Cambodia in August, he added. Recently, more than 1,200 foreign nations per day enter Cambodia at the checkpoint.
Russia's 27,410 visitors were the largest group of international tourists to cross the boarder during the period, for a 165-percent increase on 2010, Leak Romanea said. Koreans were the second-biggest group, followed by visitors from the UK and the US.
The Poipet international checkpoint was the most popular of Cambodia’s land crossings and had great potential to connect international tourists with the Kingdom, Ho Vandy, co-chairman of the Tourism Working Group of the Government Private Sector Forum, said yesterday.
“We have two popular overland crossings: Poipet and Bavet. Both crossings increase the number of foreign tourists to Cambodia every year,” he said.
Ho Vandy added he was especially hopeful of a recovery of Thai tourist numbers as the two countries begin to mend relations after months-long border tensions this year.