The government earned $85.5 million in revenue from the sale of tickets at the Angkor Archaeological Park during the first nine months of the year, a hike of nearly 13 percent, figures released yesterday by Angkor Enterprise showed.
From January to September, more than 1.9 million people visited the Angkor complex, an increase of about 8.5 percent compared to the same period last year, Angkor Enterprise said.
In September alone, there were 156,865 visitors – a jump of 8.3 percent – generating $6.8 million in revenue from ticket sales.
$3.80 million of all revenue generated during the first nine months of the year was donated to Kantha Bopha children’s hospitals.
Ho Vandy, secretary-general of the Cambodia National Tourism Alliance, said the increase in the number of local and foreign tourists at the Angkor park was a sign that growth in the tourism sector was strong.
Mr Vandy, however, said some local travel agents, hotels and souvenir vendors have experienced a fall in revenue.
“Although the number of foreign tourists and ticket sales at Angkor is on the upswing, there are complaints from some tour operators, hotels and vendors, who say business has declined.
“They say many visitors were choosing to spend less days in Siem Reap and in Cambodia, which has caused a drop in revenue for them. These businesses say tourists are now only staying in Cambodia three days on average,” he said.
Mr Vandy suggested that the government studies the issue, adding that luring tourists into staying longer periods of time in the country was important to increase the living standards of those that depend on the tourism industry.
In 2016, the government took over ticket sales from the Sokimex group. Shortly after, the body it created to manage the sales, the Angkor Institution, announced new prices, with one-day tickets rising from $20 to $37, three-day tickets from $40 to $62 and one-week tickets from $60 to $72.
The new prices include a $2 donation to children hospitals in Cambodia through the Kantha Bopha Foundation.
Revenue from the sale of tickets at the temples in Siem Reap rose by 72.5 percent in 2017, reaching $107.9 million.
According to a report from the Ministry of Tourism, about 3 million foreign tourists visited the Kingdom during the first half of the year, a hike of 13 percent.
In the report, the ministry said it forecasts the country will receive 6.2 million foreign tourists in 2018, which would represent a 12 percent increase.