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Tourist arrivals up 12 pct

Chea Vannak / Khmer Times Share:
Chinese tourists visit the temples of Angkor. KT/Chor Sokunthea

Cambodia welcomed 4.3 million holidaymakers from January to September, an increase of 11.8 percent compared to the same period last year.

China continues to top the ranking of most tourists by nationality during the nine-month period, with 1.4 million Chinese visiting the Kingdom, a whopping 71 percent increase, the most recent report from the Ministry of Tourism found.

By contrast, tourists from neighbouring nations Vietnam (984,000 visitors), Laos (984,000) and Thailand (239,000) decreased, it said.

The report, released yesterday, found that holidaymakers from South Korea, the fifth biggest visitor group, declined by 13 percent, from nearly 296,500 in 2017 to almost 223,000 this year.

The combined number of tourists from the top ten nationalities – China, Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, South Korea, the United States, Japan, Malaysia, France, and the United Kingdom – equalled 3.8 million, showing that Asean and East Asian countries continue to provide the bulk of visitors to the Kingdom.

The Cambodia government has set the goal of attracting 6.2 million foreign tourists this year, with the Ministry of Tourism saying the country is on course to achieve those numbers.

“High season starts now, so we firmly believe that the target will be reached. We may even surpass it,” said Chuk Chumnor, spokesman at the ministry.

“The decrease in tourists from certain nationalities that we have observed is the result of seasonal fluctuations in the sector,” he said.

Nearly 3 million of the 4.3 tourists that have entered the Kingdom so far this year did so by air, while the rest used land or waterway crossings, the report stated.

It also found out that the number of Cambodians travelling abroad went up by 10 percent during that period, reaching 1.4 million people.

Last year, 5.6 million international tourists visited Cambodia, 1.2 million of whom came from China.

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