13 May 2014
Cambodia’s tourist arrivals registered a 4.7% growth in March according to the country’s statistics and tourist Information Department.
The country attracted 400,076 visits compared to 382,206 during the same month last year.
Released by the Ministry of Tourism, late last week, data showed Vietnam led the field with 74,975 visits increasing 9.2% from 68,680 during the same month in 2013.
Other top source markets were: China (50,071; +18.3%); South Korea (36,463; -13.1%); Laos (34,355; +1.5%); and Japan (24,434; +13.6%).
Thailand outbound trip to Cambodia ranked sixth declining 2.5% to 19,656 visits compared to 20,152 during the same month in the previous year.
In March, 51.1% (204,433) of all international visitors arrived by air. Siem Reap Airport received the major share, 31.7% (126,965). Meanwhile, Phnom Penh Airport received market share of 19.4% (77,468).
Overland travel accounts for 45.8% (183,365), recorded at checkpoints with Thailand, Laos and Vietnam, while sea travel is a small 3.1% (12,278).
Data also showed tourist arrivals to Siem Reap province, home of Angkor Wat, posted a share of 50.3% attracting 230,180 visits, while arrivals to Phnom Penh and other destinations accounted for 37.2%, or 169,896 trips. Coastal areas also shared 11.2% with 51,360 visits while ecotourism areas accounted for 1.3% receiving 5,870 visits.
By region, Asia Pacific accounted for a 73.4% market share and posted a growth of 4.7% supporting 293,726.
Europe grew 5.3% to 76,474 followed by Americas (+4.1%; 28,317); Oceania (-2.3%; 11,324); the Middle East (-7.7%; 1,156); and Africa (-19.4%; 403).
Outbound trips by Cambodians, in March, reached 72,430 increasing 12.2% from 64,565 during the same month last year.
For January to March, the country welcomed 1,267,922 internatoinal travellers improving 8.2% from 1,172,072 visits during the same period in 2013.
Outbound trips reached 208,972 growing 3.7% for the first quarter this year compared to 201,544 trips last year.
Tourism Minister Thong Khon said the figures should reach the target of 4.7 to 4.8 million tourists by the end of this year.
“Nearly 75% of foreign tourists visiting Cambodia come from Asia-Pacific countries and the economy in those countries is doing well, so it encourages people to travel abroad.”
Cambodia Association of Travel Agents president, Ang Kim Eang, said the figures were encouraging, but further development in the sector was needed to support continued growth.
“Cambodia needs more quality infrastructure, such as bridge, national road and road leading to the remote tourism destinations, at the same time, staff need to be trained in tourism and hospitality course.”