According to the Chinese ambassador to Cambodia, the government’s tourism strategy has borne fruit, significantly increasing the number of Chinese visitors and playing a key role in the economic development of the nation.
The ambassador noted, however, that Cambodia needs to develop alternative tourism destinations to increase its offer to visitors.
Speaking during a press conference in the Chinese embassy in Phnom Penh yesterday, ambassador Xiong Bo said Cambodia’s Ministry of Tourism has enacted the “right policies”, resulting in a significant hike in the number of Chinese visitors to the kingdom.
He said Cambodia’s “China ready” strategy has been very successful in luring visitors, and mentioned concrete achievements like the increase in Chinese-speaking tour guides.
Cambodia’s China ready strategy was released in 2016 as a five-year plan for attracting Chinese tourists to the country.
A stated goal in the strategy is to attract two million Chinese holidaymakers by 2020.
Last year, already 1.2 million Chinese tourists visited Cambodia, a 46 percent increase year-on-year.
According to Cambodian Tourism Minister Thong Khon, in 2018, 1.7 million Chinese tourists will travel to the kingdom.
Mr Xiong said that if the current growth rate in tourism visitors continues, the government will achieve its target well before 2020.
However, Mr Xiong stressed the need to develop alternative tourist locations to increase the number of days Chinese spend in the country.
“We have to improve the country’s tourist offer. Chinese visitors limit their vacations to Angkor Wat and the coastal areas. There is a need to develop alternative tourist sites to increase the country’s offer in tourism.
“There are more and more Chinese investors in the industry every year. They are also helping to boost the country’s tourist offer,” Mr Xiong said.