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Cambodian Airports See Visitor Figures Soar to 10 Million


FILE: Siem Reap International Airport on 20 March 2015, a few hours before US First Lady Michelle Obama is expected to arrive in Cambodia. (VOA Khmer)

If the 10 million mark is reached, it will mark an increase of 13 percent on 2017.

Cambodia’s airports have reported a steep rise in arrivals, predicting that by the end of the month more than 10 million domestic and international visitors will have used the country’s three main airports.

The figures cover Phnom Penh International Airport, Siem Reap International Airport and Preah Sihanouk International Airport, according to the CEO of Cambodia Airports.

If the 10 million mark is reached, it will mark an increase of 13 percent on 2017.

The airports serve over 55 destinations and welcome about 700 flights per week.

In 2017, income from the airports accounted for 17 percent of the country’s total gross domestic product and supported more than 1.7 million jobs.

Kong Sopheareak, director of the tourism ministry’s statistics department, said the increase was likely due to the increased competitiveness and more budget options available to passengers.

“Traveling by air is more affordable now because, firstly, airlines such as Air Asia and Jetstar are promoting their flights. Secondly, there are new destinations on offer,” he said.

George Edgar, (first left) EU ambassador to Cambodia during the discussion “Business and Development” in Cambodia on October 04, 2018 in Phnom Penh. (VOA Khmer)
George Edgar, (first left) EU ambassador to Cambodia during the discussion “Business and Development” in Cambodia on October 04, 2018 in Phnom Penh. (VOA Khmer)

Of the arrivals by October this year, some 3 million were international tourist arrivals, according to the tourism ministry.

Sopheareak said the government estimated that the country would receive 7 million tourists per year by 2020.

But Chhay Sivlin, president of the Cambodia Association of Travel Agents, said there was still a lack of tourism infrastructure that was hampering growth.

“The more tourists there are, the more challenging it is,” he said. “We don’t have enough human resources; we need to improve our infrastructure, expand the roads, expand the tour packages, create more tourist attractions and tourist products.”

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