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Temple visits slow after clash

Temple visits slow after clash

Tourists are still wary about travelling to Preah Vihear temple following border clashes in the area earlier this year, according to provincial officials.

Visitor numbers had declined 15.5 per cent during the first seven months compared year on year, but had slowly begun rising in July, provincial Tourism Department director Kong Vibol said yesterday.

“We hope that co-operation with the government of Mrs Yingluck will do much for co-operation between both countries and boost all sectors, especially tourism,” he said.

Some 7,369 total tourists visited the temple complex through July this year, from 8,726 during July in 2010.

Violent clashes had broken out in the border region with Thailand in February and again in April.

Cambodia’s travel agents would hold meetings with their Thai counterparts in Preah Sihanouk province tomorrow, aiming to improve ties between the two nations’ tourism sectors, Cambodian Association of Travel Agents president Ang Kim Eang  said.

“This is the first time we will meet each other, to improve relations of travel and tour operators after [the border clashes],” he said. “We want to build relationships and look for new networking opportunities to boost our respective tourism.”

The meeting would be atten-ded by 28 Cambodian representatives and 69 Thai travel agents, he said.

Meanwhile, the Poipet checkpoint, in Banteay Meanchey province, has had a steady increase in visitors this year to the end of July, with 34,503 foreign nationals crossing during the period, a 21 per cent growth on the same period last year.

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