Thai tourists are visiting Cambodia in increasing numbers – with visitors almost doubling in the first half of 2012 compared to the same period last year.
Almost 92,000 Thais visited the neighbouring country from January to June, an increase from 48,000, or a 90% jump from the same period last year, according to a Cambodian Tourism Ministry report.
An even greater number of Laotians visited Cambodia in the same period, with 107,000 crossing the border, an 87% rise on the first half of 2011.
Cambodia is on course to reach its projection of 3.4 million foreign tourists set by the ministry this year. The final quarter is normally high season for the tourism industry in Southeast Asia.
The ministry recorded 2.85 million foreigners, almost half of them from other Southeast Asian countries, visiting Cambodia in the first 10 months, 540,000 more than last year or nearly a 24% increase, the Phnom Penh Post reports, citing the ministry’s figures.
Tourists from other members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations accounted for 1.2 million visitors in the period, an increase of 36%.
Tourists from the European Union accounted for 467,452, up 11%. This increase was due to more flights linking Cambodia with Europe but the rate of increase slowed as Cambodia felt the impact of the eurozone debt crisis on the tourism sector, which affected the spending of Europeans, the newspaper quoted Sinan Thourn, chairman of the Pacific Asia Travel Association, as saying.
Last year 3.1 million foreign visitors visited Cambodia, about 105,00 of them from Thailand.