Tourist visitors to the Kingdom increased 15 per cent year-on-year in the first eight months of 2011, with the Ministry of Tourism saying 1.9 million foreigners entered Cambodia during the period. An increase in direct flights, the Kingdom’s visa exemption agreements and improved security had benefited the tourism industry, said Minister of Tourism Thong Khon.
“We saw tourist numbers grow because of improvements to visa regulations, which especially benefit our neighbours, and growth in political and economic stability,” he said, adding that tourism growth was also attributed to an easing of vehicle restrictions on Cambodia’s borders.
The statistics showed that Vietnam remained the largest source of arrivals, with 408,517 tourist visits through August – a 20.7-per cent increase on 2010. South Korea was the second largest source of visitors, with 227,545 entering the Kingdom from January to August, a 19.3 per cent year-on-year increase. China came in third with 158,492 visitors.
Also, Cambodia held the 3rd World Eco-tourism conference in Sihanoukville yesterday, which 300 participants from 24 countries attended.
“This is a first time we have hosted this event and we expect it to provide great opportunities for successful ecotourism practitioners, while letting the world know Cambodia’s tourism sector has great potential,” co-chairman of the government's tourism working group Ho Vandy said yesterday.