Nearly 800,000 foreign visitors purchased tickets to Angkor Archaeological Park in 2023, contributing to Angkor Enterprise’s revenue of over $37 million from ticket sales, a 222% increase from 2022. 

According to a January 1 press release from the state-run entity – tasked with managing ticket sales at the Angkor Archaeological Park and Chong Khneas floating village in Siem Reap and Kor Ker temple complex in neighbouring Preah Vihear province – 798,069 foreign visited the Angkor Park in 2023, marking a 177.63% increase from 2022, while total revenue from ticket sales amounted to $37.199 million, a 222.68% growth. 

Aside from income from ticket sales to the park, the enterprise also recorded 14,806 visitors to the Koh Ker temple complex, generating $222,090 while boat ticket sales at Chong Khneas brought in an additional $564,671.

Chhay Sivlin, president of the Cambodia Association of Travel Agents (CATA), said the rise in foreign tourists recently could be attributed to factors such as diminishing Covid-19 concerns, increased international direct flights, buzzing local events and enhanced tourism promotion. 

She noted that most foreign guests hail from neighbouring countries and Asia. 

“The number of foreign visitors to Cambodia is gradually recovering, and currently, both the tourism ministry and the private sector are endeavouring to attract more foreign tourists,” she said.

Sivlin added that the new Siem Reap-Angkor International Airport (SAI) and improved infrastructure are crucial in drawing more travellers and investors.

Anheng Sokpheak, president of the Cambodia Chinese Tour Guide Association in Siem Reap, commented on the notable increase in foreign tourists in 2023 but remained cautious about predictions for the new year. 

“For 2024, the exact increase is uncertain, but we are hopeful for a greater number than in 2023, especially from Chinese tourists, due to the year being designated for cultural and people-to-people exchanges between Cambodia and China, alongside promotional efforts to attract more Chinese tourists,” he said.

Khieu Thy, president of the Khmer Angkor Tourist Guide Association, noted that the number of foreigners visiting ancient temples in Siem Reap has increased considerably, although it still falls short of pre-pandemic levels. 

He described 2023 as a year of recovery for global tourism, including Cambodia. 

Thy emphasised that the expected improvement in the sector for 2024 demands concerted efforts from all stakeholders to enhance services, pricing, entertainment venues and the quality of souvenirs. 

“Joint efforts between the government and the private sector are essential to attract more foreign visitors to Cambodia,” he said.

In 2022, the enterprise recorded $11.78 million from ticket sales to foreign visitors, comprising $11.53 million from the Angkor Park, $90,450 from Koh Ker and $165,308 from Chong Kneas. 

2019 saw the highest number of tourist arrivals on record, coming in at over 6.6 million, with the enterprise amassing over $80.7 million in ticket sales that year.

Established in 2016, the enterprise operates under the Ministry of Tourism and the Ministry of Economy and Finance. 

Tickets to the park are categorised into three options: one-day tickets at $37, three-day at $62 and one week at $72.