Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Tourist arrivals top 1 million for first half of 2008

Tourist arrivals top 1 million for first half of 2008

Tourist arrivals top 1 million for first half of 2008

Tourism officials are confident of breaking the 2 million mark by year’s end, despite tensions over Preah Vihear

Heng Chivoan

Tourist sightsee along the main walkway at Angkor Wat.

D

espite warnings of potential unrest, international visitor arrivals have reached over a million for the first six months of 2008, representing a 13 percent increase over the same period last year, according to the Ministry of Tourism’s Statistical Report.

“The number of tourist arrivals in Cambodia is still growing despite border problems with Thailand,” said Kong Sopheareak, the ministry’s director of the Statistics and Tourism Information Department.

“I think the temple tension does not affect the tourists’ arrivals,” said Suos Yara, deputy director general of Cambodia National Tourist Authority.

He said he expects at least 2.3 million tourists by the end of 2008.

“We don’t have any formula to calculate the benefits from tourism, but [the World Trade Organisation] estimates that a single tourist spends around US$600 to US$700 in Cambodia,” Suos Yara said.

Ho Vandy, president of Cambodian Association of Travel Agents, said, “Tourist arrivals declined in June for three reasons: the high price of transportation, the election in Cambodia and the temple confrontation.”

Tourist arrivals declined from about 150,000 in May to 130,000 in June, according to the latest Tourism Statistical Report.

Ho Vandy partially blamed widespread media coverage of the temple dispute for scaring tourists away, warning that many may yet cancel their holidays or change their destinations.

He recommended that the government host a press conference to talk about the situation at Preah Vihear temple and project an image of safety and stability to overseas tourism markets, perhaps enlisting the aid of Cambodian embassies.

MOST VIEWED

  • ‘Life goes on’ if Cambodia loses Everything But Arms

    Cambodia's business sector is exploring ways to mitigate any fallout from a possible loss of access to the EU’s Everything But Arms (EBA) agreement as talks continue before the 28-member bloc makes a final decision. The EU monitoring process is set to conclude in

  • Nesat beach: A magnet drawing tourists to the Kingdom’s coastline

    A white sandy beach lined by countless coconut trees awaits travellers off Cambodia’s southwest coast in Koh Kong province’s Srae Ambel district, about 170km from Phnom Penh. Over the past few years Nesat beach – a name inspired by a nearby fishing village – has

  • PM: Workers must train for Industry 4.0

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has urged the Kingdom’s workforce to seek more technical training and strengthen their skills if they are to avoid job losses resulting from the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Hun Sen said the fourth industrial revolution is like a double-edged sword that

  • Huawei applies for OS trademark in Cambodia

    China's Huawei Technologies Co has applied to trademark the “Hongmeng” operating system (OS) in a number of countries including Cambodia in a bid to launch its homegrown operating system as a replacement for the Android OS, Reuters has reported. Huawei has applied to trademark the “