Year-on-year ticket sales at Angkor Wat have remained flat for the first seven months of 2015, while visitor numbers to the historic site dipped by two per cent, data from Apsara Authority shows.
From January to July, entrance fees to Cambodia famous heritage site totaled $35 million, a slight decline of just 0.1 per cent the same period in 2014.
The number of tourists visiting the temple was up by 2 per cent over the same period to 1.24 million visitors.
Long Kosal, spokesman at Apsara Authority, told the Post yesterday that there had been a decline of European tourists visiting the temple complex due to fears about the outbreak of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), which has swept through South Korea and a single case has been identified in Thailand.
Tourists from Asia, however, are on the rise, but they are more likely to spend less money on just a single day pass, according to Kosal.
“We have more and more from Vietnam, China and other countries in Asia which doesn’t prefer to take many days to visit the temple or want to learn about civilization of the temple, history or people’s daily life during Angkor, so they spend only one day and then they visit around the province, or go shopping or photo taking,” he said.
“It is different from tourists from Europe who really want to know much about our culture, civilization, history, to learn more and they spend the whole day just for one temple,” he said.
Entrance fees for foreign tourists to the Angkor temple complex are $20 for a one-day pass, $40 for a three-day visit and $60 for a weeklong ticket.
Ho Vandy, president of local tour company, World Express Tours, echoed the trend ”Tourists are buying a day ticket more than three-days pass, and most of the tourist here are from Asia countries,” he said.
Despites the slight slowdown, Kosal remained hopeful that Apsara was on track to match the ticket sales received last year.
“I see the number of tourists has started to increase from April.
I do hope that we will not get some problem with our revenue projection.
I hope to get as same as last year which is around $60 million or even a bit higher for this year,” he said.