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Northeast enjoys visitor rush

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Tourists take photos at ethnic-style houses in Ratanakkiri province during the Chinese New Year holiday on Wednesday. Photo supplied

Northeast enjoys visitor rush

The Kingdom’s northeastern provinces saw a surge in the number of visitors during Chinese New Year, while the coastal provinces saw only a small amount of growth, according to provincial tourism officials.

Ratanakkiri Provincial Department of Tourism director Nget Pitou said the province received more than 20,000 national and international tourists during the three days of Chinese New Year, an increase of 8.19 per cent on last year.

“Security, improved infrastructure, economic growth and areas with beautiful natural resources are reasons for the growth,” he said.

According to a provincial tourism department report, the province welcomed a total of 21,415 visitors during the holiday, of which 20,835 were local.

‘No rooms left vacant’

Mondulkiri province also proved a hot destination for travellers during the event.

Lim Vandy, a receptionist at Elephant Hill Resort in Mondulkiri province, said all of the hotel’s rooms were booked, with most of them reserved by visitors from Phnom Penh.

“As a natural tourist site, no rooms are left vacant at any festival or holiday,” he said, adding that all other accommodation in Mondulkiri experienced similar demand.

Elephant Hill Resort’s rooms are priced from $80 to $120 per night.

Unlike the northeastern region, where tourists flocked to visit, the Kingdom’s coastal areas saw little sign of the tourist boom.

Kampot Provincial Department of Tourism director Soy Sinol said the number of tourists travelling to Kampot during Chinese New Year was not much higher than the same period last year. In the first day of the holiday there were approximately 27,000 tourists, up just two per cent year-on-year.

He added that tourist traffic the second day did improve on the first day.

However, he claimed that accommodation in Kampot, which now comprises approximately 800 hotels rooms and more than 2,000 guest house rooms, were all full during the event.

Preah Sihanouk Provincial Department of Tourism director Taing Sochet Kresna said the number of domestic tourists staying in Preah Sihanouk province showed signs of slowing.

“Overall, [the total number of] tourists may only have slightly increased due to the decline of domestic tourists,” he said.

An employee at the Grand Sihanouk Ville Hotel, which has 40 rooms, said that because the hotel sees only reservations by Chinese tourists, no locals stayed at the hotel during the Chinese New Year.

Not wishing to be named, the employee said: “The Grand Sihanouk Ville did not have a domestic visitor staying there for the first two days of the Chinese New Year.”

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