Despite a small increase in the number of foreign visitors to Angkor Wat in the first half of the year, revenues from ticket sales at the historical site dropped slightly compared to the same period in 2014, according to official figures released by Apsara Authority yesterday.
Angkor Wat complex received more than 1.08 million visitors in the first six months of 2015, an increase of around 1.61 per cent compared to the same period last year while generating 0.69 per cent less in revenues, at around $30.9 million, the report shows.
“The dropping revenue is because more tourists are buying one-day entrance tickets instead of 3-day and a week entrance ticket,” explained Long Kosal, spokesperson at Apsara Authority.
Currently, foreign visitors pay $20 for a one-day pass to the complex, $40 for three days and $60 for a week-long pass.
“In addition, we noticed that number of foreign tourists from January to March this year has dropped around 4 to 5 per cent and the number has just increased from April to June.
The trend is quite a reverse from the previous year when the first three months of the year is the high season for tourists,” he said.
Siem Reap, from January to May, received a total of 2.8 million visitors, up by 23.5 per cent.
The number of Cambodian visitors increased by about 56 per cent to 1.8 million, with foreign visitors to the area dropping by about 11 per cent to close to 991,000 visitors, according to Chheuy Chhorn, deputy director of Siem Reap’s Tourism Department.
“The number of foreign tourists has just started to jump up in May.
It is likely that they are spending less time touring the Angkor Wat complex and more time at entertainment activities,” he said.
The number of Asian tourists visiting Angkor Wat is on the rise according to Ang Kim Eang, president of the Cambodian Association of Travel Agents.
But Asian visitors are more likely to visit the temples on just a one day pass, he added, whereas Western visitors like to explore the site over several days.
“Also, Asian tourists cannot bear the sun and the heat,” he added.
“They will spend one day at the temples complex and tend to opt for more relaxing activities, like swimming, massage, spa and shopping.”