Cambodia attracts 1.9 mln foreign tourists in 5 months

Phnom Penh – Cambodia has received some 1.9 million foreign visitors in the first five months of 2014, a 6 percent rise compared to the same period last year, a tourism official said Tuesday. “Vietnam, China and South Korea are the largest sources of tourists to Cambodia,” Kong Sopheareak, chief of the Tourism Ministry’s Statistics and Planning Department, told Xinhua.

He said during the January-May period this year, Cambodia drew some 340,000 Vietnamese tourists, up 1 percent compared to the same period last year, around 240,000 Chinese, up 19 percent, and roughly 220,000 South Koreans, up 3 percent. “We see a remarkable rise in Chinese tourists to Cambodia from year to year thanks to more direct flight connection between the two countries and Cambodia’s attractive tourism sites,”he said. “In addition, close ties between the two governments have encouraged more Chinese investors and businessmen to come to Cambodia for business opportunities.”

The Southeast Asian nation is famous for two cultural sites in the UNESCO’s World Heritage List. One is the 12th century Angkor Wat Temple in Siem Reap province and the other is the 11th century Preah Vihear Temple in Preah Vihear province.

Tourism is one of the four pillars supporting the economy. Kong Soheareak said the country was projected to greet 4.7 million tourists this year, an expected rise of 12 percent from 4.2 million visitors last year. Source: Xinhua

Photo: AT/hz