Cambodia received over 13 million domestic and international visitors to its resorts and tourist destinations in the three days of the official April 14-16 Khmer New Year holiday, according to an April 17 report from the Ministry of Tourism.

The report said the first day of the festivities saw more than 2,079,670 domestic tourists and 18,831 foreigners travelling the Kingdom. Day two witnessed a total of 4,237,780 people visiting tourist sites and resorts across the country, while the final day of the celebration saw 6,851,490 visitors.

Tourism minister Thong Khon noted that the more than 13 million domestic and international visitors in the three-day period was more than the ministry had predicted, and more than the Kingdom had seen prior to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The capital-provincial administrations recorded more than 13 million visitors to resorts, tourist destinations, Sangkran venues, and many other villages and towns across the country,” he said.

He noted that while the opening of the 10th anniversary Angkor Sangkran in Siem Reap was presided over by Prime Minister Hun Sen and his wife Bun Rany, additional Sangkran events had also been held in other provinces and the capital, drawing large crowds of revellers.

Ministry spokesman Top Sopheak said on April 17 that the high number of local and international visitors was the result of an improved Covid-19 situation and excellent infrastructure improvements which had eased people’s movement.

“Siem Reap had no less than two million visitors because it was home to the largest organised Sangkran events, but many tourist destinations also organised entertainment programmes which attracted large numbers of guests,” he added.

Chhay Sivlin, president of the Cambodia Association of Travel Agents, said the increase of number of domestic visitors had made a significant contribution to local economies, and the national economy as a whole.

“This holiday period played in a big part in the Kingdom’s post-pandemic recovery,” she said.

“When people travel, they need services such as transportation, accommodation, food and other services. Whenever there is a national festival, our people travel and contribute to the tourism industry,” she added.

She said that while nearly 4,000 tourism-related businesses had closed their doors during the pandemic, the majority have reopened and are now conducting business as usual.