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Cambodians travel more

Cambodians travel more

cambodian.jpg
cambodian.jpg

Holiday in Singapore is becoming a reality for many Cambodians.

As record numbers of foreign tourists are set to come to Cambodia this year, Cambodian

tourist are also setting records.

About 700,000 Cambodians this year are taking foreign vacations, traveling most often

to neighboring Asian countries for their holidays, travel agents and travel association

officials said.

Ho Vandy, president of Cambodia Association of Travel Agents, said Cambodians take

tours most often to Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong.

"More than 300 tour agencies are operating across the country and they are trying

to promote

overseas tours with appropriate prices so that the local tourists can afford traveling,"

said Vandy, who is also co-president of the Government-Private Sector Forum's Tourism

Subcommittee.

A staff member at Wanly Travel, which organizes foreign tours every Saturday and

asked not to be named said that most Cambodian tourists want to go to China, as well

as Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam. The most popular times of year for

travel are during Khmer ceremonies and holidays.

"They like traveling by tour as it is cheaper than travel in private. They like

traveling in a group or family," she said. "We give them good service and

good food."

Vandy said the competition among travel agencies for the local tourist is increasing

and as long as travel agencies are transparent in their pricing, the long term potential

of the business looks good.

Minister of Tourism Thong Khon said the increase in the number of Cambodian tourists

traveling abroad is a result of the improved standard of living for many Cambodians.

He said about 200,000 Cambodians go to Vietnam and about 100,000 to Thailand a year.

"I think around half of million Cambodian people are touring abroad annually,"

said Khon. "This number does not include the people who go for work and businesses."

That number is estimated at 5 to 7 million.

Voch Sreyka, a vendor at Central Market (Psar Thmei), told the Post she recently

traveled with her family to Singapore on vacation. She said the family has been to

Sihanoukville and Siem Reap so many times they wanted to do something different.

"We have a lot of tourism sites in our country but it is different in other

countries," said Sreyka. "The price is reasonable and we could see different

things."

Neighboring countries including Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia have been promoting

their resorts to Cambodians. Last week ministers of tourism from Cambodia, Vietnam

and Laos signed an agreement to strengthen tourism cooperation between the three

countries.

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