Phnom Penh (VNA) - Cambodia earned 25.21 million USD from ecotourism services in the first nine months of 2020, according to Neth Pheaktra, Secretary of State and Spokesperson for the country's Ministry of Environment.

The income derived from the visit of 529,160 national tourists and 7,385 international travellers to the ecotourism areas located in 22 communities of 12 protected areas in eight provinces across Cambodia.

Neth Pheaktra was quoted by local media agency AKP as saying that this does not only contribute to national economy but also promote Cambodia’s ecotourism potential and the love and protection of the environmental and natural resource among the locals – indicating noticeable increase compared to 2018 and 2019.

Cambodia’s ecotourism areas cover 35,003 hectares of the land surface in the provinces of Rattanakiri, Kampong Speu, Koh Kong, Pursat, Preah Vihear, Kampong Thom, Kampot and Kampong Chhnang.

Neth Pheaktra expressed his confidence on the government’s strategy to boost ecotourism which is sustainably creating more jobs, improving household income, and reducing illegal logging.

He thanked all concerned players in ecotourism as well as domestic and foreign visitors which are the demand and supply sides indispensably bringing the industry to a new level.

In 2019, the ecotourism sites received 402,293 tourists generating about 18.90 million USD, and in 2018 they welcomed 343,852 visitors and earned about 16.16 million USD.

A report from the Cambodia’s Ministry of Tourism showed that the Southeast Asian country only received over 1.24 million foreign visitors in the first nine months of 2020, a fall of 74 percent year on year. For the whole year, the country is likely to welcome about 1.32 million foreign tourists, down 80 percent over the same period last year./.