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Thais Are The Largest Group Of Tourists Entering Cambodia Right Now

18 Jun, 2023

Figures produced by the Cambodian tourist authority reveal that Thais remain the biggest tourist market in the Khmer kingdom. In the first quarter, 570,000 Thais were stamped in by land and air, 285,000 Vietnamese and then 184,000 Chinese nationals. The total admitted from all countries to Cambodia was 1.72 million, a 600 percent improvement on the same period in 2022.

Although there are regular flights from China, the huge Chinese market of the pre-covid era has yet to flower. Cambodian tourist minister Thong Khon said that more flights from China were expected and that his aim was to see at least 4 million global arrivals in the whole of 2023. Observers say that there are several reasons for the slowness of the Chinese revival including a downtown in the Chinese economy, a rise in the prices of inclusive foreign holidays, particularly airfares, and delays in the issuing of new five-year passports many of which expired during the covid era.

Cambodian authorities are banking on the popularity of the kingdom zooming upwards once the two new airports open – one 50 kms from Siem Reap scheduled to receive traffic from October 2023 and one 20 km from Phnom Penh which will be completed before the end of 2024. These expanded airports will be able to handle wide-body jets from worldwide destinations. The historical need for long-distance air passengers to transit, usually in Bangkok, has traditionally been a limiting factor for Cambodian international tourism.

Thai citizens are also currently the largest tourist segment in both Laos and Myanmar. Indeed, 70 percent of all arrivals in Myanmar are Thai nationals, reflecting the wordwide unpopularity of the Burmese junta which took control in a coup in February 2021. But Thais are not discouraged by Bangkok authorities from visiting Myanmar and there have been regular advertisements promoting the wonders of Myanmar on some Thai TV channels.


The Pattaya Mail

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