Cambodia views 2023 as a pivotal year for attracting more foreign tourists. After the devastating impacts of the Covid-19 outbreak, the year should considerably assist Cambodia in overcoming the crisis that has enveloped the tourism sector, which is regarded one of the four pillars on which Cambodia’s economy is built.
The country’s tourism industry earned $1.41 billion in gross income in 2022, which is already a positive indicator for the sector. According to a Department of Tourism study, that was 669 percent greater than tourism statistics in 2021.
The situation is likely to improve significantly this year, as the number of international flights, notably those from China, a critical market for Cambodian tourism, has begun to grow following the easing of Covid-19-related travel restrictions.
According to a Tourism Ministry estimate, Cambodia received 2.28 million international tourists in 2022, a 1,058% increase from the previous year. In addition, the tourism industry generated 3.6% of Cambodia’s GDP last year.
With a bright future ahead of it, the country is predicted to attract 4 million international tourists by 2023.
“This year, we hope to attract between 800,000 and 1 million Chinese tourists,” Tourism Minister Thong Khon was cited in a report.
Cambodia, on the other hand, welcomed 6.61 million international tourists in 2019, producing $4.92 billion in total income. With optimistic actions, the government expects to attain 2019 tourism levels in a few years.
According to the most recent Ministry of Tourism numbers, the Kingdom attracted 289,208 travellers from February 27 to March 5, including 23,811 domestic tourists and 51,017 international tourists.
Preah Sihanouk (69,949 tourists), Siem Reap (40,120), Phnom Penh (39,143), Kampot (26,262), Battambang (20,920), Kampong Cham (14,364), and Pursat (10,852) were among the most popular tourist destinations during the period.
The ministry expects international and domestic tourists to visit its world heritage sites, which include the Angkor archaeological park in northwest Siem Reap province, the Preah Vihear Temple in northwest Preah Vihear province, and the Sambor Prei Kuk archaeological site in central Kampong Thom province. Its scenic coastline in the four southwest provinces of Sihanoukville, Kampot, Kep, and Koh Kong is projected to attract more visitors.
Furthermore, Cambodia is projected to draw more foreign tourists, particularly from ASEAN nations, as it hosts the Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games) and ASEAN Para Games in May.
The ministry estimates that between 250,000 and 500,000 international visitors will visit the country.
Prak Vuthy, director of the Ministry of Tourism’s overseas marketing and promotion department, told a news agency, “The importance of boosting sports tourism cannot be overstated.” “This year will see Cambodia host the SEA Games and ASEAN Para Games, which is a big thing for Cambodia. Cambodia annually hosts many sporting events, including the Angkor Half Marathon in December and Ultra-Trail Angkor in February, and various international cycling events.”
The SEA Games will take place from May 5 to 17, followed by the ASEAN Para Games 2023, which will take place from June 3 to 9. Furthermore, the country’s southern coastline is perfect for sea sports such as sailing and yachting.