Prime Minister Hun Sen has said that this years drop in tourism numbers to Siem Reap shouldn’t be alarming at all. He says that the drop is due to a government push to diversify the Kingdom’s tourism industry.
Prime Minister Hun Sen is urging people to “see the whole picture”. He notes that tourist arrivals for the country have increased as a whole.
“There has been a small slowdown in the number of tourists to Siem Reap. This is because we now have many other tourism destinations,” PM Hun Sen said.
He went on to say,
“The decline of tourist arrivals in Siem Reap does not mean that fewer tourists visited Cambodia. Focusing on just one place creates a false picture of the situation of the tourism sector and the country’s economy. This is not how it should be done.”
“The first thing we have to do is look at the figures for tourist arrivals for the whole country. The overall number of tourists coming to Cambodia has increased. For example, the number of tourists in Sihanoukville is on the rise.”
Prime Minister Hun Sen stressed that Cambodia has been diversifying its tourism offer away from just the Angkor Temple Park and the coast of Sihanoukville.
He stated that other Cambodian regions are increasing in popularity with international travelers. We should expect to see an increase in tourism numbers in the Kampot, Kep, Koh Kong, Ratanakkiri, and Mondulkiri provinces.
According to a recent report from the Ministry of Tourism, tourist arrivals to Siem Reap from January to June decreased by 8 percent compared to the same period last year. About 1.2 million tourists visited the province during the first half of the year.
But, Cambodia welcomed 3.3 million international tourists during the same period. That’s an 11.2 percent increase over last year.
Let’s hope that Siem Reap’s tourism numbers continue to increase as most of our local businesses rely on awesome travelers.