AE show 50% foreign tourist growth at Angkor Park in Jan

AE show 50% foreign tourist growth at Angkor Park in Jan

Cambodia generated $5.5 million

from ticket sales to foreign tourists at Angkor Archaeological Park in January, marking a considerable increase of over 50% compared to the same period in 2023, as reported by Angkor Enterprise (AE).

AE is a state-run enterprise tasked with managing ticket sales at the Angkor Park and Chong Khneas floating village in Siem Reap province, and the Koh Ker temple complex – a UNESCO World Heritage Site – in neighbouring Preah Vihear province. 

January saw 115,532 international visitors purchase tickets to the park, a 49.2% increase from January 2023. Total income from the sales approached $5.5 million, marking a 50.9% rise. However, the figures fall short of the January 2019 numbers when the company recorded $12.38 million in receipts from 271,050 tickets.

Apart from income generated from tickets to the park, it also accrued $43,410 from sales to the Koh Ker and $101,854 from boat tickets at Chong Kneas.

Anheng Sokpheak, president of the Cambodia Chinese Tour Guide Association (CCTGA), noted a substantial increase in foreigners visiting Siem Reap’s temples in early 2024.

“In January, I noticed more foreign tourists than in the same period last year. Most of the guests are from Europe, with the number of Chinese guests still small, a very different situation than from before 2020, when most guests were Chinese,” he said.

He added that the duration of Chinese tourists’ stays might be longer than before due to reduced direct flights from China to Siem Reap, necessitating travel via Phnom Penh.

Sopheak remains optimistic about the future, believing that the country will welcome an increased number of foreigners this year, boosting income in the tourism sector.

Khieu Thy, president of the Khmer Angkor Tourist Guide Association (KATGA), said that despite the receding threat of the global Covid-19 crisis, the industry still feels pressure from the recent challenges. 

He noted that while there had been an increase in foreign travellers from early 2023 to 2024, numbers have not yet returned to pre-pandemic levels. 

Thy emphasised the need to intensify efforts to attract more foreigners and invest in enhancing its tourism sites. 

“To increase the potential to attract more foreign tourists … it is required that all stakeholders work together to improve the country’s environment, including ecological security, sanitation, new resorts and increasing the quality of souvenir products,” he stated.

According to AE, the Angkor Park attracted 798,069 foreign tourists in 2023, a 177.63% increase from 2022, generating $37,198,988 in earnings, up 222.68%, while boat ticket sales at Chong Kneas totalled $564,671. Koh Ker received 14,806 visitors, equating to $222,090.

In 2019, a year when the Kingdom welcomed over 6.6 million foreign tourists just before the pandemic, the company’s proceeds exceeded $80.7 million, as per AE.

Established in 2016, AE operates under the Ministry of Tourism and the Ministry of Economy and Finance. Its revenue collection encompasses the Angkor Park, Chong Kneas and Koh Ker.

Tickets for the Angkor Park are categorised into three tiers: one-day tickets at $37, three-day tickets at $62 and seven-day tickets at $72. Credit From Phnom Penh Post

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