PHNOM PENH, 31 October 2016: Cambodia’s tourist arrivals improved 4.3% during January to August, this year, according to the Statistics and Tourist Information Department.
Released by the Ministry of Tourism, the latest data showed the country welcomed 3,162,907 international travellers compared to 3,032,411 during the same period last year.
Outbound trips by Cambodians reached 937,588, up 23.7% for the first eight months of the year from 758,041 trips last year.
Vietnam led the supply markets with 75,107 visits up 9.0% from 68,876 visits during the same month last year.
Other markets in the top five: China (69,461; +5.6%); Laos (42,908; +65.6%); Thailand (31,939; +27.3%); and South Korea (25,410; -2.2%).
The data showed 50.8% (206,476) of all international visitors arrived by air. Siem Reap Airport received the major market share, 27.6% (112,271), while Phnom Penh Airport secured a market share of 22.3% (90,387) and Sihanoukville Airport just 0.9% (3,818).
Overland travel accounted for 46.2% (187,472 visits) through checkpoints with Thailand, Laos and Vietnam, while sea travel was a small 3.0% (12,266).
In addition, the data showed tourist arrivals to Phnom Penh and other destinations accounted for 50.9% (233,578 visits), while Siem Reap province, home of Angkor Wat, enjoyed a market share of 37.6% (172,636 visits). Coastal areas had a market share of 10.5% with 48,169 visits, while ecotourism areas accounted for just 1.0% (4,734 visits).
By region, Asia Pacific accounted for a 79.3% market share and posted a slight increase of 11.9%, or 322,183 visits from 287,793.
Africa recorded an increase of 33.9% with 955 visits followed by Americas (+10.5; 19,805), Europe (+6.2%; 62,288), the Middle East (-0.3%; 983) and Oceania (-1.4%; 12,376).
Outbound trips by Cambodians, in August this year, reached 122,531 up 13.1% from 108,335 during the same month last year.
The country tourism authorities believe China will overtake Vietnam in the next few years to become the first largest source of tourists to Cambodia.
In June, Cambodia established the China Ready Centre to cater to roughly 2 million Chinese tourists expected to visit the country per year by 2020, as well as to improve the skills of local tourist operators working with Chinese clients.