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Cambodia Wants 1.3 Mil Chinese Tourists Yearly

Chea Vannak / Khmer Times Share:
Chinese tourists in Thailand. Prime Minister Hun Sen hopes similar numbers, if not larger, will visit the Kingdom. Reuters

The Cambodian government wants 1.3 million Chinese tourists to visit the Kingdom yearly as the number of arrivals from the world’s most populous country keeps growing year-on-year, said Prime Minister Hun Sen last week.
Speaking at a university graduation ceremony on Thursday, Mr. Hun Sen said he wanted just 0.001 percent of China’s total population of 1.3 billion people to visit Cambodia every year.
“This amounts to about 1.3 million Chinese tourists arriving in the country,” he said.
The prime minister’s remarks were timed to coincide with China’s President Xi Jinping’s two-day visit to the Kingdom beginning tomorrow.
“Attracting 0.001 percent of China’s total population of 1.3 billion is easy, as we already nearly have close to 800,000 Chinese tourists visiting us yearly,” said Mr. Hun Sen.
In June, Cambodia established the China Ready Center to cater to roughly two million Chinese tourists expected to visit the country per year by 2020, as well as to improve the skills of local tourist operators working with Chinese clients.
“This center will facilitate research on the requirements and demands of Chinese tourists as well as strengthen the Chinese language and cultural skills of Cambodian tourist operators,” said Minister of Tourism Thong Khon.
 Early this year, the Ministry of Tourism released a White Paper titled “China Ready for Cambodia Tourism” outlining a five-year strategy for attracting Chinese tourists to the country with the aim of getting two million of them to visit the country per year by 2020.
Mr. Hun Sen acknowledged that Cambodia still faced a lack of tour guides who were fluent in Chinese.
“For Chinese food here, it is okay. What is most difficult [for Chinese tourists] is the limited Chinese spoken by Cambodian tour guides,” he said.
According to the Ministry of Tourism, Cambodia needs at least 8,000 skilled tour guides to serve the tourism sector as the number of foreign tourist arrivals increase year-on-year.
Cambodia welcomed the arrival of 444,957 Chinese tourists in the first seven months this year – a 12.4 percent increase compared to the same period last year – according to figures from the Ministry of Tourism. Last year, out of a total of 4.77 million foreign tourist arrivals, 700,000 were Chinese.

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