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Number of Vietnamese Visitors Jumps

The number of Vietnamese tourists visiting Cambodia jumped nearly 75 percent in the first ten months of 2008, coming in at No. 2 for the first time in 15 years, officials said Tuesday.

The 176,600 Vietnamese visitors, up from 102,577 in the same period last year, was second only to the number of Korean visitors, 234,880, according to figures from the Ministry of Tourism.

Attributing the increase to improved Cambodian infrastructure and Vietnamese livelihoods, Tourism Minister Thong Khon said Tuesday most visitors went to Phnom Penh and Siem Reap.

Trinh Ba Cam attributed the rise to “a situation in Cambodia where there is enough stability and peace.”

The rise in Vietnamese visitors also parallels the rise in Vietnamese investment in the country, mainly in agriculture, hydroelectricity, telecommunications and banking.

Overall, Cambodia’s tourism sector—the second-most important engine for the economy—saw more than 2 million visitors in 2007, bringing with them $1.4 billion in revenue.