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Tourist arrivals up by 12%

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Tourists visited AngKor Wat last year. Sreng Meng Srun

Tourist arrivals up by 12%

Cambodia welcomed more than three million foreign tourists in the first half this year, an increase of 12.7 per cent compared to the same period last year, official data from the Ministry of Tourism said.

Leading the way in the rise were Chinese and Vietnamese tourists.

The Ministry of Tourism’s data released on Wednesday showed there were 931,763 visitors from China over the period, which accounted for 31 per cent of all inbound tourists.

This marked an increase of 75.8 per cent over the 529,967 Chinese tourists who arrived in the Kingdom during the first half of last year.

Despite shrinking by 1.5 per cent over the first half of last year, tourists from Vietnam were the second-largest group to visit the Kingdom, with a total of 386,614.

Chhay Sivlin, president of the Cambodia Travel Agents Association, said the increase of tourist arrivals is still on track to reach the government’s goal of six million total visitors by the end of the year.

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She noted that many aspects of the tourism sector were being stretched thin, however, as there was still a shortage of destinations, domestic product shops and human resources.

She urged both authorities and operators to boost their preparations for the upcoming high season.

“We welcome the growth . . . but it is still concerning for the sector when hospitality and human resources are still facing shortages . . . that makes tourists disappointed on trips,” she said.

“We need to prepare well for the coming high season in order to meet their needs and provide good services.”

Among the three million foreign tourist arrivals during the first half of the year, two million visitors arrived by air, an equivalent share of 66.8 per cent, according to ministry’s data. Around 33.2 per cent entered Cambodia by land or sea crossings.

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