Tuesday, 22 March 2011 15:00SIEAM BUNTHY
SIEM Reap province saw a 36 percent increase in foreign tourists over the first two months of 2011, according to figures obtained from the Siem Reap Provincial Tourism Department.
Some 312,947 visitors came to the province in January and February, from 229,654 for the same months in 2010, it showed.
The government and private sector have strongly promoted the ancient temples to potential tourists abroad, who have responded by arriving in increasing numbers to Cambodia as the global economy improves, according to Department Director Ngov Seng Kak.
“We predict the number of visitors will rise to 1.7 million during this year, and 2 million by 2015,” he said on Sunday.
Some 65,751 visitors arrived from South Korea in the first two months of 2011, making it the largest source of visitors to the province. Japan was the home country for 25,780 visitors, while China sent 24,370 visitors, the statistics show. However, Ngov Seng Kak said the number of Japanese tourists have been decreasing following the Japanese earthquake on March 11.
Siem Reap had regularly been seeing up 500 Japanese visitors arrive daily before the disaster, but the figure has dropped to between 300 and 400 following the earthquake, he said. Despite the drop industry observers agree the sector has generally seen a rebound this year.