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Rise in foreign tourist arrivals

Rise in foreign tourist arrivals

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Tourists visit Angkor Wat in Siem Reap province in September. The number of foreign tourists arriving in Cambodia increased 23 per cent in the third quarter of this year compared to last year. Photograph: Heng Chivoan/Phnom Penh Post

The number of foreign tourists arriving in Cambodia increased 23 per cent in the third quarter of the year compared to the same period last year, according to new statistics from the Ministry of Tourism.

The ministry’s figures show the number of international tourists in the Kingdom reached 2,577,540 – an increase of 23.6 per cent compared to 2,084,789 in the same period last year.

The data show the number of tourists who arrived in the Kingdom by land was up 33.3 per cent to 1,299,804 tourists or 50.4 per cent of total arrivals. Those arriving by air were up 16.4 per cent.

Teth Chantha, general director of the Ministry of Tourism, said the numbers are a good sign for the country’s tourism industry.

“Visitors still increase, we have good growth, and we have the ASEAN meetings this year so Cambodia’s tourism gets better and better,” he said.

Tourists visiting Siem Reap province increased 27.4 per cent to 1,487,213, while tourists to Phnom Penh increased 18 per cent, to 1,090,327. Coastal areas saw an increase of 50.3 per cent, or 206,129 visitors, the figures showed. Tourists to Preah Vihear temple increased the most, with 13,140 foreign visitors, equal to a rise of 77.39 per cent, while there were 142,910 local visitors there, up 57.7 per cent.

Siem Reap remains the most important tourist destination in Cambodia, while most of foreign arrivals at Phnom Penh airport are businessmen, Teth Chantha said.

Data show visitors from Vietnamese increased 25.4 per cent, for a total of 22.55 per cent of foreign arrivals. Vietnam is followed by South Korea, China, Laos, Thailand, Japan, the US, France, Australia, and Malaysia.

Ang Kim Eang, president of the Cambodia Tourism Association, said tourism in Cambodia is increasing because of its wide array of offerings. He said Cambodia needs more flights to other destinations for more growth.

Ministry officials said they expected more German or European tourists to visit Cambodia after a German airline agreed to directly fly to Siem Reap once a week, starting later this month.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rann Reuy at [email protected]

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