Cambodia’s tourism grows
PHNOM PENH, 18 July 2013: Cambodia’s tourist arrivals registered a 25.3% growth in May according to the country’s statistics and tourist information department.
The country welcomed 292,115 visits compared to 233,220 during the same month in 2012.
Released by the Ministry of Tourism, Monday, data showed neighbouring Vietnam was the top supplier with 71,956, an increase of 21.7% from 59,148 visits in May last year.
In May, 43.2% (126,255) of all international visitors arrived by air. Siem Reap airport received the major share, 22.4% (65,375), while Phnom Penh Airport received 20.8% (60,880), mainly business travellers who needed to contact government departments, or budget travellers starting or finishing their overland trips.
Overland travel accounts for 55.3% (161,411) of all travel through checkpoints to Thailand, Laos and Vietnam, while sea travel was a small at 1.5% (4,449).
In addition, the date showed tourist arrivals to Siem Reap province, the home of Angkor Wat, posted a share of 46.2% representing 135,066 visits. Arrivals to Phnom Penh and other destinations accounted for 53.8% or 157,049 visits.
By region, Asia Pacific accounted for an 81.3% market share and posted a growth of 27.0% supplying 237,367 arrivals.
Oceania grew 46.31% to 10,113 visits followed by Europe (+22.2%; 35,503), Americas (+12.5%; 18,217), Africa (+2.4%; 383), and the Middle East (-7.9%; 645).
Outbound trips by Cambodians in May reached 83,715 increasing 31.1% from 63,872 during the same month last year.
January to May, the country welcomed 1,791,187 foreign travellers improving 19.0% from 1,505,734 visits during the same period last year.
Outbound trips reached 367,257 growing 13.7% for the first five months of this year when compared to 322,877 trips last year.
The government-private sector tourism working group co-chair, Ho Vandy, said tourism was taking off largely thanks to marketing, an environment of open trade, investment policies and solid diplomatic relations with neighbouring countries.
“It reflects the good cooperation and effort made by government and private sector in promoting Cambodia’s tourism sector.”
According to the Cambodian Development Research Institute, tourism directly employs around 350,000 people. Last year, it brought about US$2 billion into Cambodia’s economy.
There are signs that Cambodia’s tourism sector is diversifying to include beach and eco-tourism, and the development of Cambodia’s Islands is seen a new frontier for the industry.