Cambodia has been confronted with the economic crisis to the slump of a dramatic decline from Northeast Asia, especially Japan and South Korea. Political skirmish with Thailand also contributed to a sharp drop from neighboring tourists.
After six years of uninterrupted growth –and mostly in double-digit figures-, Cambodia tourism has seen a decline in total arrivals for the first half of 2009. Albeit modest at -1.1 percent, it sent a worrying signal as tourism is one of the biggest revenues earning for the government and a major source of employment with over 300,000 Khmers working in the hotel and tourism business. Download Cambodia Tourist Statistic 2009 According to a survey, South Korean travelers, among Cambodia’s top incoming markets, drop by a third during the first semester 2009. Markets such as Australia, China, Thailand or Japan declined also in double-digit numbers. Growth was however recorded in Vietnam –now Cambodia’s largest incoming market-, France, the UK and the USA. The city of Siem Reap, where Angkor Wat fabled temples are located, has been more affected by the drop. According to data from the airports authority, the number of passengers at Siem Reap declined from January to May by 25.5 percent, from 778,000 to 580,000. During the same period, Phnom Penh saw passengers’ traffic declining by a more modest 12.9 percent from 767,000 to 667,000 passengers. Numbers have since substantially improved at Phnom Penh International Airport. Passengers’ traffic was only down by 10.2 percent at the end of August.
Ministry of Tourism, Statistic Tourist 2009
ETN News, Cambodia tourism starts its slow recovery