Cambodia is requesting Japan to increase the number of direct flights from Japanese cities and provinces to Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, so as to contribute to increasing cooperation and tourist numbers between the two countries.
During the opening ceremony of 3rd Japan Travel Fair at Aeon Mall Sen Sok City recently, Minister of Tourism Thong Khon expressed his intention to have direct flights connecting other Japanese cities to Phnom Penh, and especially to Siem Reap province’s historical Angkor Archaeological Park that has gained a lot of interest among Japanese tourists.
Japanese visitors are still an important market source for the Cambodian tourism sector, with Japanese visitors to Cambodia in seventh place among the top 10 markets for the Kingdom. Chinese tourists topped the list of foreign visitors, he said.
Khon said: “The daily direct flights between Tokyo-Phnom Penh-Tokyo on All Nippon Airways (ANA) has been successful for the last three years in providing better and easier options for Japanese and Cambodian tourists, and contributing to the strengthening of relationships between the peoples of both countries.
Through increasing this direct-flight connectivity, it will also increase the number of tourists from third countries, he said.
Khon attributed achieving continuous growth, especially the growth in Japanese tourists, to Cambodia’s implementation of the open skies policy, and because there are many travel facilities especially for Japanese, such as visa on arrival, E-Visa and Multiple Visa.
Thourn Sinan, the president of the Pacific Asia Travel Association, told The Post on Sunday that the additional direct flights will be more positive for the tourism sector as it attracts tourists between the two countries and brings others from third countries as well.
“As a tourism sector, we welcome more direct flights as it will increase the number of Japanese tourists to Cambodia and increase the numbers of Cambodians who travel to Japan,” he said, adding that Cambodia now has sufficient potential to receive tourists from Japan.
However, Sinan also urged the Cambodian government to increase the number of tourist sites, as Japanese tourists mainly visited historical sites in Siem Reap.
He said Japanese tourists are warmly welcomed by Cambodian as their average stay is more than three days.
A Ministry of Tourism report said that in the first nine months of the year, 149,470 Japanese tourists visited Cambodia – an increase of 2.8 per cent compared to the same period last year.
Last year, Cambodia received more than 210,000 Japanese tourists, up 3.5 per cent from 2017, while the number of Cambodian tourists visiting Japan numbered around 20,000.
Data from the Ministry of Tourism shows that Cambodia currently receives international flights from 86 destinations in 12 countries.
On average, the Phnom Penh International Airport receives 414 international flights a week, Siem Reap International Airport receives 349 flights and Preah Sihanouk International Airport receives 67.