Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Cambodia tourism records swift recovery

One of the country’s main attractions Angkor Wat

via Khmer NZ

TOURIST arrivals in Cambodia increased by about 12 per cent in the first six months of this year, according to recently released Ministry of Tourism statistics.

In the first half of 2010, Cambodia received a total of 1,221,156 foreign visitors, up from 1,086,518 in the same period last year.

Tourists from Asia accounted for a large number of the visitors, with arrivals from neighbouring Vietnam taking the top spot at 208,667, up 46 per cent on 2009.

South Korea stood at number two, with 136,498, up around 35 per cent annually. Japan was third with 71,107 tourists, a modest rise of about seven per cent.

Tourism Minister Thong Khon said the growth in tourism was due in part to a gradual recovery of the global economy and an easing of vehicle restrictions at Cambodia’s border frontiers – which has led traffic at some checkpoints to soar by up to two-thirds.

“We hope the number will continue to grow in the second half of this year,” he said.

Ang Kim Eang, president of the Cambodia Association of Travel Agents, said visa-exception agreements and an increase in flights would be an important factor in attracting more tourists to the kingdom in coming months.

He said that airlines such as Bangkok Airways and Air Asia would increase their flights from October to December, the high tourist season.

The statistics showed that in the first six months, tourist arrivals by air rose an estimated 14 per cent to 632,373, while arrivals by road and water rose around 13 per cent to 522,634.

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