Qatar Airways Company QCSC has announced a new route connecting Qatar’s capital Doha with Siem Reap, a move hailed by local officials as a significant step to boost tourist numbers.
A Qatar Airways representative, speaking at the Kuwait Aviation Show, announced on Thursday that Siem Reap International Airport and Lyon-Saint Exupery Airport in France will soon welcome direct flights to Doha.
The Siem Reap-Doha route will start on November 16, Qatar Airways said.
“The Siem Reap-Doha route will keep up the momentum in the tourism industry in the home of the Angkor Temples, a Unesco World Heritage site,” Vinci Airports SAS, who has the concession to develop airports in Cambodia, said in a statement.
Alain Brun, CEO of Cambodia Airports, the company managing all three international airports in Cambodia, said: “The new service will boost Siem Reap as a tourism destination by improving connectivity and giving passengers more travel options.”
Speaking to The Post, Top Sopheak, a spokesman for the Ministry of Tourism, highlighted the importance of the announcement, particularly in light of the recent decrease in the number of tourists to Siem Reap province.
“The new route will help attract not only tourists but also investment. It will reduce travel time and costs for passengers,” he said.
Data from the Ministry of Tourism shows that foreign arrivals to Siem Reap province reached 1.55 million during the first eight months of last year – an 11 per cent decrease compared to the same period in 2018.
Last year, Cambodia welcomed 6.7 million foreign tourists, an eight per cent increase compared to a year earlier, preliminary data shared by Sopheak showed.