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.