Chinese tourist numbers to Cambodia on the rise

The number of Chinese tourists visiting Cambodia rose 45.7 percent year-on-year to 841,340 in the first nine months of the year, according to a report from the Ministry of Tourism on Wednesday.

Total foreign tourist arrivals reached 3.9 million in the nine-month period, representing an increase of 11.5 percent.

The majority of international visitors to Cambodia were Chinese nationals, which made up of 21.5 percent of international tourists in the nine-month period. This was followed by Vietnam and Laos.

Cambodian Tourism Minister Thong Khon said the rise in Chinese tourists was attributable to closer ties between the two countries, as well as Cambodia’s attractive tourism sites and direct flights between the two countries.

At a “China Ready” tourism forum last week, the minister said he predicted the country to have welcomed approximately one million Chinese tourists in 2017, a number which is set double by 2020.

Kong Sopheareak, director of the Statistics and Information Department at the Ministry of Tourism said he expects total visitor numbers to Cambodia to reach 5.5 million by the end of the year, a 10 percent increase from 2016. By 2020, Kong said he expects to attract at least seven million foreign visitors per year.

“The growth of tourists is a good sign, and we project that we can reach 5.5 million people by the end of this year,” he said yesterday. “We need to improve our tourism products in order to attract more tourists to the country,” he said.

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