Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Temple city crowned top Asian destination

Temple city crowned top Asian destination

Visitors wander through the ancient ruins of Angkor Wat.
Visitors wander through the ancient ruins of Angkor Wat. Hong Menea

Temple city crowned top Asian destination

Travel-planning website TripAdvisor has ranked Siem Reap as the top destination in Asia and fifth best travel destination worldwide in its annual Traveller’s Choice Destination awards, which could translate into more tourist visits, experts said yesterday.

Ang Kim Eang, president of the Cambodia Association of Travel Agents, said the publicity generated by the top-position ranking on the popular internet site could encourage more international tourists to visit Cambodia to see the Angkor Wat temple complex in Siem Reap.

“I hope that other online travel advisers or TV channels will give [Angkor Wat] the same rating and that the masterpiece of the Khmer Empire will get more and more famous around the world, not just in the Asia-Pacific [region],” he said.

Thy Khieu, head of the Siem Reap-based Angkor Tourism Guide Association, said TripAdvisor’s selection of Siem Reap as the top tourist destination in Asia affirms the positive experience that tourists have when visiting the city and its Angkor-era temples.

“If our service was very bad, if we were not friendly, and if we did not do a good job then TripAdvisor could not give us a good rating,” he said. “But people in this country are very friendly, warm and welcoming, and the service is all good in Cambodia.”

Khieu said he hopes the ranking will not only attract more travellers, but also encourage them to plan longer trips. He said tourists typically spend two weeks in the neighbouring countries of Thailand and Vietnam, but only about three days in Cambodia.

“We want tourists to stay and visit Cambodia for 10 days at least, and to not only visit Siem Reap and Angkor Wat, but to also go to Battambang, Phnom Penh, Sihanoukville, Mondulkiri, Ratanakkiri, and so on,” he said.

TripAdvisor’s Traveller’s Choice awards, released on Tuesday, are determined using an algorithm that takes into account the quantity and quality or reviews and ratings on TripAdvisor for hotels, restaurants and attractions in destinations worldwide, gathered over a 12-month period, as well as traveller booking interest.

Siem Reap ranked first among destinations in Asia, with Hanoi and Ubud, Bali, named as runners-up.

MOST VIEWED

  • New US bill ‘is a violation of Cambodian independence’

    After a US congressmen introduced bipartisan legislation that will enact sanctions on Cambodian officials responsible for “undermining democracy” in the Kingdom, government officials and the ruling Cambodian People’s Party on Sunday said they regarded the potential action as the “violation of independence and sovereignty

  • Long way to go before Cambodia gets a ‘smart city’

    Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Battambang will struggle to attain smart city status without adopting far reaching master plans, according to officials tasked with implementing the program. The brainchild of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), the smart city program seeks to link up

  • Ministry’s plan for net sparks fears

    The government has ordered all domestic and international internet traffic in the Kingdom to pass through a Data Management Centre (DMC) that has been newly created by the state-owned Telecom Cambodia, in a move some have claimed is an attempt to censor government critics. Spokesman

  • China-Cambodia tourism forum held

    The Cambodian tourism sector must be prepared to welcome a growing number of Chinese tourists, as they lead the globe in the number of outbound travellers and were responsible for the most visitors to the Kingdom last year, the country’s tourism minister said on