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South Korea and Japan may receive visa exemption

South Korea and Japan may receive visa exemption

A VISA-exemption agreement for Japanese and South Koreans tourists is in the pipeline after visitor numbers from the two nations dropped dramatically last year.

Speaking at a Wednesday press conference, Minister of tourism Thorng Khon said that the government is considering the move. Visa requirements for Japanese citizens may be lifted by next year, he said.

According to a report from the Ministry of Tourism, visitor numbers from South Korea and Japan dropped an annualised 25 percent and 10 percent respectively in 2009. Last year 197,725 South Korean tourists and 146,286 Japanese tourists visited Cambodia.

The government has already provided visa exemption to tourists from the Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam and Laos.

Thorng Khon said that in 2009, Cambodia lost US$8 million in revenue under the policy, but that the loss was compensated for by higher tourist spending.

“We hope that the number of tourists visiting Cambodia will increase 10 percent in the next two years,” he added.

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