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Cambodian official urges more Chinese tourism for economic growth

Chinese Tourist

Top Sopheak, Ministry of Tourism’s Secretary of State, highlights a 611% YoY increase in Chinese tourist arrivals, emphasizing their contribution to Cambodia’s economic and touristic development as well as poverty alleviation.

PHNOM PENH – A senior Cambodian official called for more Chinese tourists, saying that their presence has significantly contributed to the kingdom’s economic and touristic growth and poverty reduction.

Ministry of Tourism’s Secretary of State and Spokesman Top Sopheak said Cambodia received 364,844 Chinese visitors during the January-August period this year, a year-on-year increase of 611%.

The number accounted for 10.4% of 3.5 million international tourist arrivals to the country during the first eight months of this year.

Top Sopheak said, “We want more Chinese tourists as they have importantly contributed to our economic and touristic development as well as poverty reduction,”, predicting that the country would receive at least 600,000 Chinese tourists this year.

Sopheak said he has a strong belief that close ties and increasing direct flights between the two countries will encourage more Chinese tourists to spend their holidays in Cambodia in the coming years.

I want to send a message to all Chinese citizens that please come and visit Cambodia, a safe tourist destination,” he said.

Tourists can enjoy cultural and ecological tourism, such as the Royal Palace and the National Museum in Phnom Penh, the Angkor Archeological Park in the northwest Siem Reap province, the Temple Zone of Sambor Prei Kuk in the central Kampong Thom province, and the Temple of Preah Vihear and the Koh Ker archeological site in the northwest Preah Vihear province, as well as a beautiful bay in southwest Sihanoukville.

Chinese tourists are warmly welcomed to these key tourist destinations as well as other attractions across Cambodia, as the government has always prioritized security and safety for all tourists,” he said.

China was the biggest source of international tourists to Cambodia in the pre-COVID-19 pandemic era, Sopheak said, adding that the kingdom received 2.36 million Chinese tourists in 2019, accounting for 35.7% of total international tourist arrivals and generating about 1.8 billion U.S. dollars in revenue.

He said the “China Ready” strategy, which was first launched in 2016, had been reintroduced to relevant authorities and tourism-related businesses after restrictions were lifted.

The strategy listed steps to be taken by tourism authorities to facilitate visits by Chinese tourists, such as providing Chinese signs and documents for visa processing, encouraging local use of Chinese yuan and language, and ensuring that food and accommodation facilities are suited to Chinese tastes.

Tourism is one of the four pillars supporting Cambodia’s economy. The country attracted up to 6.61 million foreign tourists in 2019, earning gross revenues of 4.92 billion dollars, according to the Ministry of Tourism.

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