Visitors to the world-famous Angkor Archaeological Park, Cambodia’s most important tourist draw, were down significantly during the first eleven months of the year.
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According to the latest report from Angkor Enterprise, who manages ticket sales at the temple complex, from January to November, revenue from the sale of entrance passes dropped by 14 percent ($1.99 million) compared with the same period last year, reaching just $89 million.
In November only 193,260 foreign tourists bought entrance passes, 17 percent less than in 2018. Revenue was $8.8 million, a 16 percent drop compared with the same month last year.
The Ministry of Tourism has attributed the decrease in revenue to a drop in the number of Chinese tourists to Siem Reap province, where the temples are located.
To reverse the trend, the ministry has urged the relevant authorities and the private sector to improve and expand the province’s tourist offer.
The number of Chinese tourists maybe down in Siem Reap but it is increasing in other areas of the country, particularly Sihanoukville, noted Ministry of Tourism spokesman Top Sopheak.
“The number of tourists in Siem Reap is down, but in general the country’s tourism industry is growing,” Mr Sopheak told Khmer Times yesterday.
“The ministry continues to work to attract more tourists by cooperating with relevant parties and the private sector to promote and strengthen the quality of tourist service.”
According to the Ministry of Tourism, 4.8 million foreign tourists visited Cambodia in the first nine months of the year, a 10 percent hike. Chinese people accounted for 38 percent (1.8 million) of this figure.
Last week, the government established the National Tourism Development Committee to aid the development of one of Cambodia’s most important economic drivers.
The move is seen as a response to the lower than expected number of visitors at the Angkor Archaeological Complex.