Chinese Visitors To The Kingdom Spike

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During the first four months of the year, Cambodia welcomed more than 647,000 Chinese visitors, an increase of more than 79 percent, according to the Cambodian Tourism Minister.

Sambor Prei Kuk, or “the temple in the richness of the forest” an archaeological site of ancient Ishanapura, is seen after being listed as a UNESCO world heritage site, in Kampong Thom province, Cambodia July 15, 2017. Picture taken July 15, 2017. REUTERS/Samrang Pring

Chinese tourists continue to top the list of visitors to the Kingdom by nationality due to good diplomatic ties between Cambodia and the East Asian giant, said Thong Khon, Cambodia’s Minister of Tourism, speaking on Sunday at a ceremony to mark the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries held in Siem Reap.

“The future growth of our tourism industry will be largely dependent on whether or not we are able to increase our share of the growing number of Chinese travellers and keep attracting Chinese investment,” he said.

The minister pointed out that by 2020 the World Tourism Organisation estimates there will be 200 million Chinese travelling outside their country.

Mr Khon said that to lure more Chinese tourists into the Kingdom, the government has drafted a strategy to make Cambodia a more desirable destination in the eyes of Chinese travellers.

“With our ‘China Ready’ strategy, our goal is to attract at least 2 million Chinese tourists by the year 2020,” the minister said.

Mr Khon added that China’s Belt and Road Initiative will play a key role in expanding the Kingdom’s tourism industry.

“Cambodia supports China’s One Belt One Road strategy, and we hope that this good policy will help promote tourism development along the 21st century Silk Road.”

Mr Khon said Cambodia will welcome 6.2 million international tourists in 2018 and 7 million in 2020. By 2030, the country will receive 15 million international tourists, which he said will bring $10 billion in revenue and create 2 million jobs for local people.

This article was originally published in the Khmer Times.