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Tourism Expected to Rise After Peacful Elections

Officials predict the number of tourists visiting Cambodia, especially Angkor Wat, will rise again this year, thanks to peaceful elections April 1.

The Ministry of Tourism said it expected the number of visitors to Angkor Wat to exceed 2 million in 2007, while more people will be coming to the country's beaches.

Earlier this year, the beach town Sihanoukville saw its airport reopen after years of closure.

Tourism is fast becoming Cambodia's strongest economic engine, but growth in the industry relies on the kind of political stability that has proven elusive in the past.

Angkor Wat had 1.7 million tourists in 2006, and increase of 20 percent over the year before, Tourism Minister Lay Prahoas said.