Tourists to Cambodia up 20 percent in first 4 months

Cambodia saw a 20-percent increase in the number of tourist arrivals for the first four months of 2007, compared with the same period last year, local media reported on Wednesday.

Some 710,000 visitors arrived between January and April and the majority were South Korean and Japanese, French language daily newspaper the Cambodge Soir quoted Tourism Minister Thong Khon as saying.

The rise stemmed partly from improved connecting roads with neighboring Vietnam and Thailand, and from better security and marketing efforts, he said.

"Although Japanese and South Korean tourists still take the lead in terms of numbers, we note that there has been a 70-percent increase in Vietnamese tourist arrivals and a 38-percent increase in Thai tourist arrivals," he said.

The newly-appointed minister stressed that the large number of Vietnamese visitors has also resulted from recent efforts to advertise Cambodia's tourist destinations in Vietnam.

Thong Khon added that Cambodia intends to draw 2 million tourists this year.

In 2006, Cambodia hosted approximately 1.7 million tourists, generating some 1.05 billion U.S. dollars in revenue.

Tourism, together with garment production and agriculture, serves as a pillar industry for the kingdom.

Source: Xinhua

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