PHNOM PENH, 17 November 2016: Cambodia’s tourist arrivals improved 4.8%, January to September, this year, according to the Statistics and Tourist Information Department.
Released by the Ministry of Tourism, Monday, the latest data showed the country welcomed 3,508,415 international travellers compared to 3,346,870 during the same period last year.
Outbound trips by Cambodians reached 1,059,521 up 22.6% for the first nine months of the year from 864,237 trips last year.
In September alone, the country recorded 345,508 inbound trips improving 9.9% from 314,459 during the same month last year.
Vietnam led supply markets with 67,946 visits, up 6.0% from 64,119 visits during the same month last year.
Other markets in the top five were: China (62,865; +22.1%); Laos (36,535; +6.1%); Thailand (27,431; -0.5%); and South Korea (20,202; +8.2%).
The data showed 52.9% (182,939) of all international tourists arrived by air. Siem Reap Airport received the major market share, 26.7% (92,257), while Phnom Penh Airport secured a market share of 25.1% (86,681) and Sihanoukville Airport just 1.2% (4,001).
Overland travel accounted for 44.9% (155,104) through checkpoints with Thailand, Laos and Vietnam, while sea travel was a small 2.2% (7,465).
In addition, the data showed tourist arrivals to Phnom Penh and other destinations accounted for 54.9% (214,324 visits), while Siem Reap province, home of Angkor Wat, enjoyed a market share of 33.6% (131,184 visits). Coastal areas had a market share of 10.6% with 41,257 visits, while ecotourism areas accounted for just 1.0% (3,805 visits).
By region, Asia Pacific accounted for an 84.4% market share and posted a slight increase of 9.2%, or 291,616 visits from 267,094.
The Oceania recorded an increase of 20.2% with 13,888 visits followed by Americas (+14.5; 17,051), Europe (+13.9%; 34,991), Africa (+11.4%; 665); and the Middle East +2.8%; 1,185).
Outbound trips by Cambodians in September, this year, reached 121,933 up 14.8% from 106,196 during the same month last year.
Tourism Minister Thong Khon said Cambodia should welcome some 5 million tourists by the end of this year.
Cambodia targets 7 million foreign arrivals by 2020, including 2 million Chinese, he said.
Direct flights between Cambodia and China have helped to boost tourism between the two countries. Cambodia is expected to receive from 850,000 to 900,000 Chinese visitors by year-end.
Last year, the country welcomed 4.78 million international tourists up 6.1% from 4.50 million visits in 2014.
Of that 694,712 were Chinese, making China the second biggest tourism market for Cambodia, after Vietnam.