Angkor Archaeological Park earned almost $10.5 million in revenue from ticket sales in January this year, nearly a 15 percent decrease compared with the same time last year, figures from Angkor Enterprise report.
In its latest report, the state-run Angkor Enterprises, the company that manages ticket sales at the temple complex, said the number of tickets sold at the park saw nearly an 18 percent decrease from January 2019.
A total of 222,560 foreign tourists bought passes to the country’s most famous tourist attraction in Siem Reap province.
Although it did not disclose the reason behind the decline of tourist arrivals, it is believed to have been affected by fear of the Coronavirus, which has now killed 362 people and infected more than 17,300 globally as of Monday.
The development of the outbreak is rising rapidly and the infection rate has shown no signs of slowing down, a situation that has now been declared as a global emergency by the World Health Organisation last week.
Vongsey Visoth, secretary of state at the Finance Ministry, last week said that Cambodia’s economic growth is going to experience a slowdown because of the impact of the outbreak on the tourism sector.
“The outbreak of SARS that took place between 2002 and 2003 seriously affected global tourism,” Vongsey said. “Now the Coronavirus is affecting China, where one-third of our tourists come from, it will inevitably effect Cambodia.”
The outbreak of the virus came amid China’s busiest travel season, with more than 7 million people estimated to have made plans to travel abroad during the Chinese lunar New Year.
“We currently do not have any flights from Wuhan until the Chinese government announces otherwise,” Sin Chansereyvutha, spokesman for the State Secretariat of Civil Aviation, said.
“There are no direct flights from Wuhan to Cambodia, but for other Chinese destinations, flights are still available,” Sin pointed out.
Flights to and from China “have been reduced to about 40 to 50 percent because of concerned tourists not booking as many flights”, he added.
According to the Ministry of Tourism, the Kingdom welcomed 6.6 million foreign tourists, a 6.6 percent increase on last year. Of that number, Chinese tourists made up the most, with a total of more than 2.3 million – up nearly 17 percent from the previous year.
Chuk Chumnor, spokesman for the Ministry of Tourism, also said last week that there is global concern about the impact the virus could have on the tourism industry.
“Chinese nationals are a big portion of the world’s holidaymakers and with the government’s ban amid the outbreak, it is going to badly affect the global tourism sector,” he said.
However, Chuk pointed out that the ministry is working with the private sector and setting out necessary measures to maintain stability during the Coronavirus crisis. “This will include encouraging domestic tourist movements with special offers,” he added.