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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Cambodia's tourist arrivals surge in first Q1

PHNOM PENH, International tourist arrivals surged by almost 10 percent in the first quarter of this year, compared to the same period in 2009, showing key growth in the number of visitors from South Korea, China and Japan, local media reported on Thursday.

Government figures quoted by the Phnom Penh Post as showing that 683,692 tourists came to Cambodia from January to March 2010, a rise of 9.87 percent on the 622,288 arrivals in the same period of 2009.

Potentially high-spending visitors from South Korea were up 31. 5 percent, Chinese arrivals were up 27.2 percent, and Japanese visitors rose by 4.7 percent.

Air arrivals increased 10.83 percent to 371,506, up from 335, 213 last year, with 10 percent more visitors entering the Kingdom at Siem Reap airport.

Total arrivals in the home province of Angkor Wat rose 22.8 percent, to 366,102.

Kong Sophearak, director of the Statistics and Tourism Information Department at the Ministry of Tourism, attributed the rise to the resurgence of global travel following "the darkness" of the financial crisis.

Luu Meng, president of Cambodia's Hotel Association (CHA), was quoted as saying that occupancy within the hotel industry had risen by up to 10 percent quarter-on-quarter.

Ang Kim Eang, president of Cambodia's Association of Travel Agents (CATA), predicted that the trend will continue. "I am optimistic that the foreign tourists will keep increasing. People are just getting to know our country after the long-lasting civil war," he was quoted by the Post as saying.

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