A three-day river festival in Kampong Chhnang held last weekend attracted nearly one million visitors, both national and international, according to the Ministry of Tourism on Monday.

Ministry of Tourism under-secretary of state Top Sopheak said the number of tourists who attended the 5th River Festival in Kampong Chhnang province on Friday, Saturday and Sunday was higher than anticipated.

“We received such a large number of tourists thanks to factors such as political stability, economic growth, safety and especially since it is the first major event to be held in Kampong Chhnang province,” Sopheak said.

He added that the festival offers a lot of benefits for the host province, such as an opportunity to show off its tourism potential.

“The river festival is a great help in promoting the tourism potential of the host province,” he said.

According to Sopheak, the province saw around 200,000 visitors on the first day of the festival, more than 500,000 on the second day and 300,000 on the third.

He said the Ministry of Tourism is studying the potential of some of the provinces bordering Vietnam and other provinces with rivers to organise the 6th River Festival next year.

Cambodia Association of Travel Agents adviser Hor Vandy said organising tourism events such as the Sea Festival and the River Festival – held annually from one province to another – is pivotal in attracting more tourists to visit on holiday.

“The arrangement of such events will attract more people and tourists to visit, which will generate more potential for service providers to further invest in the tourism sector,” he said.

Vandy added that if there is ample promotion, the upcoming festival would attract more tourists to visit from neighbouring countries.

The River Festival aims to promote tourism and infrastructure development in the host province, as well as encouraging participation in the “Clean City, Clean Resort, Good Service and Best Hospitality” campaign launched by the Ministry of Tourism in late 2017.