Cambodia welcomes 275,000 Chinese tourists in 4 months, up 13 pct

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PHNOM PENH, June 21 : (Xinhua) — Cambodia received some 275,000 Chinese tourists in the first four months of 2016, up 13 percent if compared to the same period last year, said a Tourism Ministry report on Tuesday.
The number of Chinese visitors to the Southeast Asian country accounted for 16 percent of total foreigners to the kingdom during the January-April period this year, the report said.
It added that China ranked the second largest source of tourists to Cambodia after Vietnam, whose 306,000 people traveled to Cambodia during the period, down 3 percent year-on-year.
Kong Sopheareak, chief of the Tourism Ministry’s statistics and planning department, said Cambodia-China excellent relations and Cambodia’s attractive tourism sites are key factors to lure more Chinese tourists.
Also, there are many direct flights between the two countries, he said. “More importantly, now, Chinese people are rich and they are keen to travel overseas,” he told Xinhua. “For my prediction, China will overtake Vietnam in one or two years to become the first largest source of tourists to Cambodia.”
Cambodia sees China as a major market for its fast-growing tourism industry. Earlier this year, the country released a white paper targeting 2 million Chinese tourists by 2020.
The white paper lists steps to be taken by tourism authorities to facilitate visits by Chinese tourists, such as providing Chinese signage and documents for visa processing, encouraging local use of the Chinese yuan currency, and ensuring that food and accommodation facilities are suited to Chinese tastes.
Cambodia is renowned for two cultural sites on the UNESCO’s World Heritage List. One is the 12th century Angkor Archaeological Park in northwestern Siem Reap province and the other is the 11th century Preah Vihear Temple in northwestern Preah Vihear province.
Besides, it has many interesting eco-tourism sites, including a 450-km pristine coastline stretching across four provinces in the country’s southwestern part.

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