Chinese New Year Sees More Cambodians Heading Abroad

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International destinations like Hong Kong are attracting increasing numbers of Cambodian tourists during Chinese New Year.

Cambodia’s robust economic growth has afforded a marked increase in the number of locals travelling abroad during the three-day Chinese New Year festival this year compared to the same period last year, according the tourism industry insiders.

VLK Royal Tourism president Lav Heng said bookings through his company rose by around 20 percent to provide trips overseas to close to 500 Cambodian tourists. “The rise was due to better living conditions of the Cambodian people and the economy in the country,” said Heng, who noted that the majority of his clients were interested in Hong Kong, with others looking at destinations in Malaysia, Taiwan, South Korea, China, and even Europe.

Sky King Travel and Tour CEO Sok Kunthea said her company organised holidays for around 750 Cambodians during Chinese New Year, with regional package tours costing between $300-600 to the likes of Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, Japan and Taiwan, and trips to Europe rising to between $2,500-$3,500. “Our tour package from Cambodia is more expensive than international tour packages due to the fact that Cambodian tourists need the best places and good food. However foreigners are not that fussy,” added Kunthea.

According to statistics from the Ministry of Tourism, more than 1.3 million Cambodian travelled out of the country last year, an increase of 19 percent compared to the previous year. “Though Cambodia is a small country, it is becoming a tourist exporter to neighboring countries,” said Kong Sophearak, the ministry’s department of statistics and information director.

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