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Kingdom attracts 1.2M tourists in Jan and Feb

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Alibaba Group co-founder and executive chairman Jack Ma visits Angkor Wat on March 12. FACEBOOK

Kingdom attracts 1.2M tourists in Jan and Feb

Cambodia attracted 1.24 million foreign tourists during the first two months of this year, a nearly 10 per cent increase compared to the same period last year, according to a Ministry of Tourism report.

Data showed that during the two months, Cambodia attracted 418,572 Chinese tourists, a 31.7 per cent increase compared to the same period last year. The figure showed that Vietnam still stands at number two with 124,266 visitors, followed by Laos with 86,505 visitors.

However, tourists from South Korea declined 19 per cent to 72,867 compared to the same period last year.

Ministry of Tourism under-secretary of state Top Sopheak said the increase in foreign visitors is due to the Kingdom having a lot of attractive tourism sites.

“Political stability, improved infrastructure and peace and safety are main factors attracting more foreign visitors,” he said.

Sopheak said the Kingdom currently attracts less Chinese visitors than other countries. “We need to try our best to attract more Chinese,” he said.

Last year, outbound Chinese tourists worldwide increased to 125 million, of which Cambodia attracted only two million. The Kingdom expects to attract 6.6 million foreign visitors this year, according to Sopheak.

Cambodia Association of Travel Agents adviser Hor Vandy said the increase in Chinese visitors was due to political stability and the government’s “Open Horizon” policy.

“I think that Cambodia will attract more [Chinese] than expected,” he said.

Cambodia received 6.2 million foreign visitors last year, a 10.7 per cent increase from 2017, according to the report.

This month, Cambodia received two iconic visitors, Chinese billionaire Jack Ma – the co-founder and executive chairman of the Alibaba Group, who made a private visit to the Angkor Wat.

He was followed by South Korean president Moon Jae-in, who paid a state visit and took some time to also visit the Kingdom’s main historical tourism site.

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