The Phnom Penh Post reported that the number of international tourists visiting Siem Reap fell 9 per cent last year compared with 2014, largely on a decline in European visitor arrivals, citing a tourism official.
Chhoey Chhan, head of Siem Reap’s provincial tourism department, said of the 5 million tourists that visited Siem Reap city last year, 2.1 million were foreigners, with European travelers registering a drop of 16 per cent.
He said Korean, Japanese and Vietnamese tourists dropped around 10 per cent, but European tourists dropped the most.
Chhan attributed the decline in European visitors to fears of terrorism, concerns over regional air safety and economic issues at home.
According to Chhan, the drop in European tourists was in part compensated by an increase in Chinese and Thai visitors, which registered a 14 and 9 per cent increase, respectively.
Ho Vandy, an adviser to the Cambodia Chamber of Commerce, agreed that some European tourists view Cambodia as an insecure travel destination.
However, he predicted that regional economic integration and local government strategies will cause tourism to rebound, particularly the launch of the Asean Economic Community and improved transportation between Asean countries.
CLMV economies Outlook by EIC Q1/2021
Within the region, Vietnam’s economy is projected the fastest growth due to ongoing strong exports performance for electronics products and a resilient domestic economy.
The global recession and COVID-19 pandemic heavily affected CLMV economies in 2020, resulting in major slowdown in Vietnam and Myanmar whereas Laos and Cambodia faced economic contractions from additionally specific negative factors.
CLMV’s economic growth crashes to two-decade low due to COVID-19
The COVID-19 crisis has caused the rate of economic growth in the CLMV bloc to be at its lowest in two decades, the CLMV economies could grow at 3.4 percent this year
Cambodia’s aid and investment affair with China
China is Cambodia’s biggest aid provider and Chinese investors hold almost a quarter of Cambodia’s total FDI stock. Distinguishing Chinese aid from investment is difficult, but there is no doubting China’s huge economic impact in Cambodia.
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