Gary Diskin - Nov 5, 2012
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A report from the Tourism Ministry in Cambodia recently informed that the country witnessed a huge inflow of 2.57 million tourists in the period between January and September of this year. This is an increase of 24 percent in comparison to the same period in 2011.

The data from the report indicated that around 1,480,000 foreign tourists toured the Angkor Wat Temple in the province of Siem-Reap. This was an increase of 27 percent as compared to last year's data for the same period. The Preah-Vihear temple attracted just over 13,000 visitors from foreign countries, indicating an upward shift of 32 percent from last year's numbers.

Among the source markets with the most visitors were Vietnam, South Korea, China, Laos and Thailand in this order. Vietnamese visitors to Cambodia stood at a staggering 579,890 which was 25 percent more than last year. South Korea had 306,550 visitors. China came in third with an increase of 32 percent in numbers to 234,440 visitors.

Tourists from Laos numbered 177,140 while Thailand brought in 137,430 of them. This was an increase of 90 percent and 70 percent respectively, indicating that these countries have found a new interest in Cambodia as a holiday destination.

The mode of transport to Cambodia for the visitors is also documented in the report. Land arrivals took the greatest piece of the pie with 50 percent of the visitors coming in by road. 47 percent of the visitors came in via air, while the remaining numbers used water way navigation to travel.

According to the report, foreign tourist numbers could hit the 3 million mark before the close of this year. The Cambodian economy is mainly anchored in the tourism industry. In 2011, the country raked in a total income of USD 1.9 billion from the tourism industry with numbers standing slightly above 2.8 billion foreign visitors.

At the same time, the report of the tourism ministry indicated that 585,800 Cambodians had left the country to visit overseas lands between January and September of this year. This was an increase of 15 percent when compared to the same period in 2011.

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