(Posted by CAAI News Media)
Cambodia could lose 30 to 40 billion baht in tourism income as the latest conflict with Thailand is driving Thai and foreign tourists away, Apichart Sangka-aree, an adviser to the Association of Thai Travel Agents (ATTA), said on Tuesday.
“On the tourism front, Cambodia will face stronger negative impact from the dispute than Thailand.
''European tourists are now refraining from visiting Cambodia’s Angkor Wat and are instead visiting the Northeast of Thailand, which has a similar culture and tourist attractions,'' Mr Apichart said.
Charoen Wang-ananont, chairman of the Thai Travel Agents Association (TTAA), took the same tone, saying 95 per cent of Thai tourists who had booked tour packages to Cambodia in advance have now cancelled or delayed their trip.
“We found that 20 per cent of them changed their destination to Laos and another 10 per cent to Burma,” Mr Charoen said. The tourist attractions that coincidently gained benefits from the conflict included Luang Prabang, Vientiane, Savannakhet and Champasak.
More than 600, 000 Thais visited Cambodia last year and they spent about 7,000 baht each, while only 60,000 Cambodian traveled to Thailand, according to the TTAA chairman.