Angkor Wat pulls in the crowds
SIEM REAP, 30 July 2012: Visitors to Siem Reap’s historical Angkor Wat increased by a substantial 35% during January to June, the provincial tourism department reported late last week.
The department said in the first half of 2012, 1.06 million international tourists visited the temple, with South Korea, Vietnam and China topping the supplier list.
South Korea led the field with 190,400 visits increasing 49% followed by Vietnam with 127,890 visits (+12%) and China with 78,430 visits (+51%).
The Siem Reap provincial tourism department administration chief, Chhoeuy Chhorn, said South Korean and Chinese visitors increased in response to more direct flights from the two markets.
“The main reason for the substantial increase in Thai visits to the temple site was the visit of fugitive, former Thai Prime Minister, Thaksin Shinawatra, who celebrated the Thai New Year in Siem Reap last April and over 50,000 of his supporters met him and also visited the temples.”
The entrance fees to Angkor Wat starts at US$20 for international visitors for a day, US$40 for a three-day visit, and US$60 for the entire week.
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.