THE number of tourists visiting the Kingdom rose 17 percent for the first 11 months year on year, with the most significant leap in foreigners seen in visitors from Vietnam, according to Ministry of Tourism statistics released yesterday.
Government figures show 2,258,587 tourists entered the Kingdom via land, air and sea transport between January to November – a 17.23 percent increase on last year’s 1,926,615 tourists for the same period.
The largest source of overall arrivals to the Kingdom was Vietnam with 424,013 visitors – or 18 percent of the total – a 49.83 percent increase on 2009’s first 11 months.
South Koreans were the next largest group of visitors with 11 percent of the total, followed by China with 7 percent and Japan with 6 percent.
Kong Sophearak, Ministry of Tourism director of Statistics and Tourism Information Department, attributed the rise in visitors from Asia’s more developed nations to ease of entry.
“We saw tourist numbers increase because the [visa] laws are easier than before,” he said.
He added that the new visa exemption for Cambodian and Thai citizens which came into effect last week would give a further boost to the industry.
The Ministry of Tourism forecast this year's growth in tourism to be around 16 percent based on the global economic recovery, aiming for a goal of 2.5 million international visitors.