Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Tourist arrivals in first half rise

Tourist arrivals in first half rise

Tourist arrivals in first half rise

Cambodia welcomed around 2.3 million people for the first half of this year, up 4.6 per cent compared to the same period last year, amid concerns from the tourism minister that the Kingdom may not reach its target of 5 million arrivals for 2015.

Minister of Tourism Thong Khon said Vietnamese, Chinese and South Korean tourists topped the list of arrivals into the country, but that there was a slowdown from South Korea and Russia.

“The reason for the slowdown of tourists from South Korea is the outbreak of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in May, while economic problems are causing Russian tourist numbers to drop,” Khon said.

While Khon acknowledged that overall tourist arrivals have been slower than expected, he was hopeful that it would pick up in the second half of the year.

“I hope in the end of this year we will achieve our target as we planned to reach 5 million tourists in 2015, if not, it will be more or less close to our prediction,” he added.

Early estimates for July showed the number of tourist growing, with a slight dip in August numbers so far, Khon said.

Ang Kim Eang, president of Cambodia Association of Travel Agents, said that while growth during the first semester was slow, it didn’t seem to be picking up during the second semester as well.

Eang said reaching the 5 million target will be difficult this year but can be bolstered next year after the ASEAN Economic Community integration.

“The number of tourists will increase when the ASEAN Economic Community is created by the end of this year, allowing more people to travel,” Eang said.

Based on ministry figures, in 2013 there were 4.2 million visitors in Cambodia, with the number climbing to 4.5 millions in 2014.

Given this growth trajectory, the Ministry of Tourism targeted 5 million people for 2015.

While Phnom Penh saw a sizeable jump in tourist arrivals, 1.19 million tourists for the first semester, Siem Reap and the surrounding Angkor temples recorded a 10 per cent dip in tourists, falling to 1.10 million.

The coastal areas, which include Sihanoukville and Kep, saw 373,000 tourists as private operators have been working to promote the beaches of Cambodia.

Last year, Cambodia earned close to $3 billion in state revenues from the tourism sector, making it one of the major contributors to the economy.

MOST VIEWED

  • Angkor lifetime pass, special Siem Reap travel offers planned

    The Ministry of Tourism plans to introduce a convenient, single lifetime pass for foreign travellers to visit Angkor Archaeological Park and potentially other areas. The move is designed to stimulate tourism to the culturally rich province of Siem Reap as the start of the “Visit

  • Pailin longan winery tries to break through to the big time

    Longan aren’t quite as glamorous as some fruits. They don’t have the star-power of mangos or generate the excitement of a pricey seasonal niche fruit like the pungent durian. Unlike bananas or oranges, which are known and loved everywhere, longan remains a decidedly

  • ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ meet commences, Taiwan issue possibly on table

    The 55th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) and related meetings hosted by Cambodia kicks off in Phnom Penh on August 3, with progress, challenges, and the way forward for the ASEAN Community-building on the table. Issues on Taiwan, sparked by the visit of US House Speaker

  • Recap of this year’s ASEAN FM meet and look ahead

    This year’s edition of the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) hosted by Cambodia comes against the backdrop of heightened global tensions and increasing rivalry between major powers that have been compared to the animosity of the Cold War era. The following is The Post’

  • Debt restructuring over, time to tackle rising NPL ratio

    The Cambodian banking system has just completed a 26-month debt restructuring exercise where scores of loan accounts were revised, classified and provisioned as the rate of non-performing loans inched up, sparking a slight credit risk unease Implemented in April 2020, the Covid-19 debt restructuring measures came

  • Koh Slaket studio resort brings culture with style

    Davitra (Cambodia) Co Ltd’s multi-million-dollar 13ha Koh Slaket studio-cum-resort just east of the capital was inaugurated in the first phase on August 6, providing national and international tourists with a new travel option and job opportunities for locals. The man-made cultural and scenic lakefront getaway