Revamped checkpoints on the Cambodia-Thailand border have resumed operations, with officials saying the upgraded facilities will help increase the influx of tourists into the country.
The upgraded border checkpoints are An Ses in Preah Vihear, Phnom Dey in Battambang, Thmor Da in Pursat and Chup Koki in Rattanakiri.
Cambodia and Thailand agreed last year to upgrade the four border gates and open new checkpoints to boost bilateral trade and tourism along the border, aiming to increase trade volume between the two neighbours to $15 billion over the next five years.
“We are expecting to receive more tourists through the new border gates and this will have a positive impact on the economy and society,” Minister of Tourism Thong Khon said yesterday at an inter-ministerial committee.
Ho Vandy, the secretary-general of Cambodia’s National Tourism Alliance, welcomed the cooperation between Thailand and Cambodia in revamping the checkpoints.
“Opening new international checkpoints helps both countries attracts tourists from third countries. This type of cooperation facilitates travel and boosts tourism numbers,” he said.
In 2016, the number of foreign tourists visiting the kingdom grew by five percent year-on-year, which resulted in revenues of $3.4 billion – nearly 13 percent of the country’s GDP – and the creation of 620,000 direct jobs.
During the first 10 months of 2017, Cambodia received 4.3 million international tourists, up 10.4 percent compared with the same period in 2016. According to official forecasts, the kingdom will welcome 5.6 million foreign tourists by the end of the year.