Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Tourist numbers still rising

Tourist numbers still rising

Tourist numbers still rising

THE number of foreign tourists visiting the Kingdom has increased nearly 15 percent in the first nine months year on year, while Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh announced that Cambodians would qualify for visa on arrival at the world’s second-most-populous country.

A total of 1,803,180 tourists entered the Kingdom via land, air, and sea in the first nine months, a 14.6 percent increase on 1,573,940 tourists in the same period last year, according to statistics from the Ministry of Tourism.

Cambodia aims to meet a goal of 2.5 million international visitors during 2010, up from 2.16 million last year, according to Tith Chantha, director general at the Ministry of Tourism.

“Growth could be at around 15 percent for all of 2010 because of economic recovery, more regional flight connections and broad promotions,” he said yesterday.

Meanwhile, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh announced at the India-ASEAN summit in Hanoi on Saturday that citizens of Cambodia as well as Vietnam, Philippines and Laos would qualify for visas on arrival beginning in January 2011.

Ang Kim Eang, president of the Cambodia Association of Travel Agents, said the visa-on-arrival scheme would lead to more trade and investment activity between Cambodia and India, but was unlikely to boost tourism to Cambodia.

“It’s good for business, but for tourism, if there are no direct flights to and from India, there will still be few Indian tourists here,” he said.

The Ministry of Tourism statistics show that in the first nine months of this year, 9,646 Indians came to Cambodia, an 8 percent increase from 8,916 in the same period last year.

Ang Kim Eang said that tourism to Cambodia was likely to grow by 15 percent throughout the year, but that it could increase further if there were flights to Sihanoukville.

The Kingdom’s airports were the entry points for 51 percent of international visitors, with 920,627 arriving by plane, according to the Tourism Ministry’s statistics.

Siem Reap International Airport saw a 17.65 percent increase in arrivals during the first nine months compared to the same period last year, with 498,697 foreign visitors entering the Kingdom through the airport. Phnom Penh saw 421,930 visitors enter Cambodia through its airport in 2010 to the end of September, an 11 percent increase on the same period last year.

The largest source of overall arrivals to the Kingdom was Vietnam, with 341,113 visitors in the first nine months, a 49 percent climb from the period last year. Some 207,412 Koreans entered Cambodia during the period, 32 percent more than last year, while China rounded out the top three markets for arrivals, with 127,829 visitors, a 40.8 percent increase from the first nine months last year.

However, China was the largest source of business visitors to the Kingdom during the first nine months with 27,660 business arrivals, more than double Thailand, the second-largest source of business visitors.

Thailand was the ninth-largest source of overall visitors to Cambodia, but saw an overall 8.77 percent decline in arrivals with 76,036 travelling from Thailand to Cambodia in 2010 to the end of September.

MOST VIEWED

  • With herd immunity likely in 2022, is Cambodia ready to reopen for tourism?

    The government aims to inoculate 80 per cent of the target population by June next year, giving it a head start among regional peers to reboot the sector but first, it has to do a few things to up its game A sign on a glass

  • Quarantine still a must for all arrivals, in next Covid chapter

    Since early May, an average of five to 10 Cambodian people have died from Covid-19 a day with many others testing positive amid the ongoing community outbreak. At the same time, however, hundreds of patients also recovered a day. The first Covid-19 case in Cambodia was

  • US wants 'full access' to Ream Naval Base

    On June 11, the US embassy's Defense Attaché Colonel Marcus M Ferrara visited Ream Nava Base in coordination with Cambodian officials following the recent approval of Prime minister Hun Sen to allay the concerns on Chinese military presence at the base as raised by US Deputy

  • Jab drive heading to 5 provinces

    The government is set to vaccinate more than 1.2 million people in five provinces after finishing with Phnom Penh and neighbouring Kandal in an ongoing campaign administered by the ministries of Health and National Defence. The five provinces are Preah Sihanouk, Kampong Speu, Takeo, Kampong Cham

  • New immigration bill targets illegal foreigners in Kingdom

    General Department of Immigration (GDI) officials are discussing revisions to the new draft law on immigration to prevent foreigners from entering Cambodia illegally and to supervise those living in the Kingdom more effectively. The revisions draw wide support among civil society organisations. GDI director-general Kirth

  • Kingdom set to be a gold producer

    Cambodia will soon join the roster of gold producing countries after the government announced the commencement of commercial gold mining operations in the Okvau area in southwestern Mondulkiri province's Keo Seima district from June 21. Prime Minister Hun Sen on June 10 announced that after 14 years of