Cambodia received some 3.7 million foreign tourists in the first nine months of the year (2016), up about 5% compared to the same period last year, according to the government news agency AKP.
Tith Chantha, Cambodia’s secretary of state at the Tourism Ministry, quoted by AKP, said 3.7 million foreign tourists visited Cambodia from January to September and the country was expected to welcome up to 5 million foreign visitors, generating jobs for 600,000 Cambodians this year, the Khmer Times reported on Tuesday.
Ho Vandy, secretary general of the newly-founded National Tourism Federation of Cambodia, told the newspaper recently the increasing number of tourist arrivals so far this year augured well for both the private and public sectors—especially for all stakeholders in the Kingdom’s tourism sector. “The increase in tourist numbers is also due to the availability of more direct flights to Cambodia,” declared Vandy to the newspaper. Many new flights have been launched this year such as All Nippon Airways air route between Phnom Penh and Tokyo, Thai AirAsia Siem Reap-Phuket, Spring Airlines Siem Reap-Shenzhen or Cambodia Angkor Air Sihanoukville-Ho Chi Minh City. “The increase in the number of tourists has a knock-on effect in the country,” he said. “It contributes to the national economy, provides more jobs, and generates more income for people.”
Cambodia airports welcomed more than 5 million passengers and 53,000 flights in the first nine months of the year, representing an increase of 6.2% and 2.8% respectively compared to the same period last year.
The ministry is developing a new marketing strategy to ensure it meets its goal of drawing seven million international tourists a year by 2020. It says this will generate $5 billion in economic revenue annually and create about one million jobs. The plan aims to draw 2 million Chinese tourists a year to Cambodia by 2020.
If the current trend continues, Cambodia will see more than five million international tourists by the end of the year, passing a new mark in the Kingdom’s tourism development.
(Source: Khmer Times)