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Last Updated:[04-01-2011 09:27:15 EDT] Zoom in Zoom out Back to Tradenews

Cambodian Tourism to Maintain Growth in the New Year

tradenews According to the Cambodian tourism ministrys statistics, last years success of the tourism sector is likely to be extended to 2011. The Ministry has forecast 2.73mn visitors would arrive in 2011 as compared to the last years 2.5mn.

Cambodia, one of the poorest countries in the South East Asia, which achieved a degree of stability following many years of devastating conflict, is finding tourism as a potential revenue generator after agriculture. The latest figures show tourism has played a vital role in ushering in economic progress to the country though several issues threatened its progress.

Tourists to the kingdom increased by 16 percent in 2010 compared with the previous year, providing US$1.78bn from $1.56bn in 2009. The tourism ministry forecasts the revenue will rise to $1.91bn in the new year.

Kong Sophearak, director of the department of statistics and information at the Ministry of Tourism said improved ease of transportation, promotional deals, and strong security in 2010 had benefited the tourism industry. I think tourism will still grow in the coming year because of linkages through flights between Cambodia and the European nations, and visa exemptions with Thailand, he told the Phnom Penh Post.

The figures show Vietnam was the largest source of arrivals to Cambodia, with 466,695 tourist visits a 47.6 percent increase on 2009.South Korea became the second largest with 289,702 tourists entering the country last year, a 46.5 percent rise from 2009. China came in third with 177,636 visitors, while some 151,795 tourists arrived from Japan.

The president of the Cambodian Association of Travel Agents, Ang Kim Eang, said the resumption of direct flights by Air France and the visa exemption for Thai visitors should assist in boosting tourism further in 2011. Cambodia has recently tied up with various international tourism companies to showcase countrys potential heritage and eco-tourism sites to garner higher tourism market share this year.

The increase in travel and tourism registered companies also witnesses the countrys growth in the region as a tourism destination. The total number of registered travel and tourism companies increased to 392 companies, from 374 in 2009.

By Jose Roy

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