Cambodia aims to attract 1 million Chinese tourists in 2023

 Monday, February 20, 2023 


Cambodia is aiming to attract 1 million Chinese visitors in 2023, up from 106,875 in 2022, according to a press release issued by the Ministry of Tourism on Friday.

In 2023, Cambodia is predicted to receive 3 to 4 million international tourists, including 800,000 to 1 million Chinese tourists, the news release said.

It is estimated that about 30% of the Chinese tourists expected this year would visit the iconic Angkor archaeological park in Siem Reap province.

The historic park welcomed only 18,763 Chinese visitors in 2022.

According to a news release, Undersecretary of State Sok Sangvar of the Ministry of Tourism met with local authorities and tour and travel operators in Siem Reap province on Thursday to prepare for the return of Chinese tourists after the world’s second-largest economy recently optimised its anti-COVID-19 strategy.

Cambodia has gradually welcomed the resumption of direct flights from China to Cambodia’s Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville after China optimized its anti-COVID-19 strategy on Jan. 8 and resumed outbound group tours on Feb. 6, he said.

Sangvar noted that the first direct flight from China is likely to resume in early March in Siem Reap province.

The official recommended that local governments and tourism-related businesses reinstate the “China Ready” plan, which was initially introduced in 2016.

The strategy outlined steps that tourism authorities should take to facilitate Chinese tourists’ visits, such as providing Chinese signs and documents for visa processing, encouraging local use of the Chinese currency and language, and ensuring that food and lodging facilities are suitable for Chinese tastes.

According to a report from the Ministry of Tourism, China was the largest source of foreign tourists to Cambodia prior to the pandemic, and the kingdom received 2.36 million Chinese tourists in 2019, accounting for 35.7 percent of total tourist arrivals and generating approximately 1.8 billion US dollars in revenue.

The return of Chinese visitors, according to Chhay Sivlin, President of the Cambodia Association of Travel Agents, provides “great prospects” for the Southeast Asian nation’s tourism sector and economic prosperity in the post-pandemic period.

The Angkor archaeological park and Sihanoukville coastal city will remain the most attractive destinations for Chinese tourists, she told a news agency.

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