Authorities in Dunhuang City, in China’s Gansu province in the northwest, are launching a chartered flight service with Siem Reap next month to encourage more Chinese nationals to visit the Kingdom.
The service will start on Dec 9 and run until Feb 24 next year, according to a report in Xinhua. Flights will depart every Monday from Siem Reap at 3:00 pm and land at Dunhuang after six hours and 35 minutes.
The service is part of efforts by authorities in the Chinese province to encourage more Chinese to visit the Kingdom.
The number of foreign nationals visiting Siem Reap is in decline. During the first half of the year, 12 percent fewer foreigners visited the home of the Angkor Archaeological Complex.
Chuk Chumnor, Ministry of Tourism spokesman, told Khmer Times in October that the fall was mainly the result of fewer Chinese visiting Siem Reap province.
According to a press release from the Tourism, Culture, Radio, Television and Sports Administration of Dunhuang, the direct flight between Dunhuang and Siem Reap will build an air corridor between the cities and promote tourism exchanges between the two destinations.
“On December 1st, Dunhuang is going to release a series of products and policies included in the activity ‘Journey of Cultural Confidence in Dunhuang in Winter and Spring’.
“A chartered airplane service between Dunhuang and Cambodia with the theme ‘Lanmei Airlines Meet You in Winter’ will be provided from December 9th, which suggests that Dunhuang’s tourism brand is marching toward a broader international community,” it said.
Sin Chansereyvutha, spokesman for the State Secretariat of Civil Aviation, confirmed the launch of the service to Khmer Times.
“The company has discussed this issue with SSCA. They want more Chinese tourists to visit Cambodia and more Cambodians to travel to China,” Mr Chansereyvutha said.
The chartered flight service will use aircraft rented from Lanmei Airlines and will be part of a tour package. Once it ends in February, Gansu authorities will consider whether or not to make it a regular service.
Both Siem Reap and Dunhuang are home to Unesco-listed sites known for their Buddhist art. Siem Reap has the Angkor Archaeological Complex while the Chinese city is home to the Mogao Caves, a system of temples that attract thousands every year.