Foreign tourist arrivals increase 140 percent in 2023

Cambodia attracted some 5.43 million international tourists in 2023, a sharp increase of 139.5 percent from 2.27 million in 2022, a Ministry of Tourism report showed on Friday.

Thailand topped the chart among foreign arrivals to the Kingdom with 1.82 million, followed by Vietnam (1.01 million), China (547,789), Laos (372,285) and the United States (184,780), read the report.

Over 1.86 million total foreign tourist arrivals were made via the three international airports, while the rest entered Cambodia on border gates and waterways, the report added.

Tourism Ministry’s spokesman Top Sopheak attributed the remarkable growth in tourists to the peace, stability and infrastructure connectivity that have contributed to encouraging and facilitating tourists to visit the country.

“This growth of foreign tourist arrivals reflected that the tourism sector in Cambodia is recovering upward, even though it will not reach the level of tourist arrivals in 2019, the pre-Covid-19 pandemic,” Sopheak told Khmer Times.

“Increasing direct flights from abroad to Cambodia with new air routes created and the new airport in Siem Reap province have facilitated easier for passengers to travel to Cambodia,” he said.

Tourism is one of the four pillars supporting Cambodia’s economy, in addition to garment, footwear and travel goods export, agriculture, and construction and real estate.

According to the Ministry of Tourism, the number of international visitors to Cambodia is predicted to reach 7 million by 2025, surpassing the pre-COVID-19 pandemic level of 6.6 million in 2019.

Cambodia is well-known for its world cultural heritage sites, namely the Angkor Archaeological Park in Siem Reap province, the Preah Vihear Temple and Koh Ker Temple in Preah Vihear province, and the Sambor Prei Kuk Archaeological Site in Kampong Thom province.

Besides, the Kingdom has a 450-kilometre-long pristine coastline stretching across four southwestern provinces of Preah Sihanouk, Kampot, Kep and Koh Kong.

Last year, the Kingdom welcomed some 2.28 million foreign tourists, a year-on-year increase of 1,058 percent, generating $1,415 million, read the report.

According to Sopheak, the ministry tracked more than 18 million domestic tourists last year, increasing from 13.9 million recorded in 2022.

Last year, Cambodian tourists visiting foreign countries increased by 87 percent to 1.81 million, stated the report.

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