Phnom Penh, February 14, 2011 AKP –
Despite the recent war at the border between Cambodia and Thailand, the number of international tourists visiting Cambodia does not show any decrease – an observation that has been confirmed by Tourism Minister Thong Khon.
According to the tourism minister, there is no significant trip cancellation of international tourists reported by transportation agencies in Cambodia. Instead, number of international travelers arriving at Siem Reap International Airport on some days peaks at around 5,000 – the majority of whom are from China, Korea, Japan and European countries.
Although the number of Thai visitors declines, its small proportion does not affect the overall number of international visitors, many of whom know about the border dispute.
Interestingly, the number of non-Thai international tourists coming to Cambodia through Cambodian-Thai border gates remains high, maintaining positive trend of international visitors for 2011, wherein January made 10 percent increase compared to the same period in the previous year.
However, as warned by Co-chairman of Tourism Working Group Ho Vandy, if the war between Cambodia and Thailand drags on, it can affect tourism as well as business transactions in the two countries. “We wish to see the fighting site become peaceful tourism attraction site,” he added.
Worrying about the short-term impacts of the border conflict in which the shelling from the Thai side recently led to damages of Cambodian historical Preah Vihear Temple and the long-term troubles the conflict may cause for the tourism sector, tourism business practitioners issue a joint statement to support the Royal Government of Cambodia to involve the third party in resolving the dispute.
The joint statement also calls for the assistance of the United Nations and the UNESCO to protect and fix the damages of Preah Vihear Temple whose priceless value does not only mean for Cambodians but also the whole world. –AKP
By MOM Chan Dara Soleil