Angkor Revenue Up, Tourists Amount Down

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According to a new report by the Ministry of Tourism published yesterday, revenue from ticket sales to the Angkor Archeological Park reached $39.48 million in the first quarter of 2018, 28 percent higher than the corresponding period last year.

Tourists flock to the Angkor temple complex to watch the sunset. KT/Chor Sokunthea

Ministry data showed 854,584 tourists visited the temple during the first quarter, an increase of 11 percent.

New prices for entrance to the park increased in February last year to bring them in line with other tourism destinations in the region. Some of the income will go to charity. The new price of a one-day pass is $37, up from $20. A three-day pass went up to $62 from $40 and a weekly pass to $72 from $60.

With the new price includes a charitable donation of $2 to the Kantha Bopha Foundation. This has contributed $4.3 million to the hospital in 11 months.

Ho Vandy, secretary-general of the Cambodia National Tourism Alliance, said he was worried by the short stays of tourists.

“The income is much back by the new prices and with mechanisms made by the government to promote the tourism sector, the number of tourists visiting the park and other main tourism destinations increased,” Mr Vandy said.

But he said the new price of Angkor passes, accommodation services have seen tourists stay for shorter periods, apparently because of the high ticket costs.

“We cannot say this is affected by the new prices, as we can see number of tourists to the park and income from the sector is high from the government’s figure,” he said.

“But we are in the sector. We have seen our sales, especially for bookings for tourists, are mostly in the short-stay categories.”

At the beginning of 2017, some tour operators expressed concern over a possible slowdown in arrivals of foreign visitors to the Angkor area and Cambodia in general as a result of the rise in ticket prices.

The concerns followed the release of a report by the Ministry of Economy and Finance in January showing that the growth rate of foreign tourists to the country decreased from 17.5 percent in 2013 to six percent in 2016.

At the same time, the report showed that number of tourists who bought a one-day Angkor ticket entrance was 63.6 percent, with 35.4 percent for three days, and one percent for seven days.

Cambodia’s tourism sector earned $3.63 billion in revenue last year, an increase of 13.3 percent, according to figures from the Ministry of Tourism.

Last year, international travellers visiting the kingdom spent $5.6 million, 11.8 percent more than in 2016.

This article was originally published in the Khmer Times.