Angkor Wat visits increase 45%
SIEM REAP, 11 May 2012: Visitors to Siem Reap’s historical Angkor Wat increased by a substantial 45% during the first quarter of the year, the provincial tourism department reported, earlier this week.
Quoting January to March data, the department said 639,800 international tourists toured the temple complex.
South Koreans led the field with 132,750 visits improving 67% over the same quarter in 2011.
The department administration chief, Chhoeuy Chhorn, said: “Visitors from South Korea and China increased due to broader promotions in those markets and an increase in flights.”
The entrance fees to Angkor Wat start at US$20 for international visitors for a day, US$40 for a three-day visit, and US$60 for the entire week. How the revenue is spent and what percentage is ploughed back into helping the local economy is shrouded in secrecy.
In 2011, the temples attracted 1.6 million foreign visitors, an increase of 23%. All of them had to pay a minimum of US$20 to tour the complex providing a rough estimate of the gate value for the company that handles the business.
The Angkor archeological park is the Cambodia’s largest cultural tourism destination located 315 km from the capital Phnom Penh.
The temple was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1992.