(Night market in Siem Reap, Cambodia. Photo by Shen Yuantong)
About 830,000 Chinese tourists visited Cambodia in 2016, a 19.5-percent rise year-on-year, according to a Cambodian Tourism Ministry report on Thursday.
Chinese holidaymakers accounted for 16.6 percent of the 5 million international tourists traveling to the Southeast Asian country last year, the report said.
It added that China ranked the second largest source of tourists to Cambodia after Vietnam, whose 959,600 people visited the kingdom last year, down 2.8 percent year-on-year.
Cambodia targets 2 million Chinese tourists by 2020.
Last year, the country launched a white paper which listed steps to be taken by tourism authorities to facilitate visits by Chinese tourists, such as providing Chinese signage and documents for visa processing, encouraging local use of the Chinese yuan currency, encouraging the use of Chinese language, and ensuring that food and accommodation facilities are suited to Chinese tastes.
Cambodia is famous for the 12th century Angkor Archeological Park in northwestern Siem Reap province. Besides, it has a 450-km pristine coastline stretching across four provinces in the country’s southwestern part.
Tourism Minister Thong Khon estimated last month that tourism industry earned gross revenue of more than 3 billion U.S. dollars in 2016, accounting for 13 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).