The Phnom Penh International Airport. (Source:

Phnom Penh (VNA) – The Cambodian Government is encouraging foreign airlines to launch direct air services to Cambodia, Tourism Minister Thong Khon has said.

He said on August 17 that the Government is speeding up the development of transportation infrastructure and bettering airport procedures to make it easier for foreign tourists and investors coming to the country.

He informed that Japan’s ANA (All Nippon Airways) will launch a direct service between Tokyo and Phnom Penh on September 1.

In the first half of this year, Cambodia served 2.36 million foreign visitors, a rise of 2.6 percent year on year.

Over 90,000 Japanese visited the country in the reviewed period, following Vietnam with 452,000 tourists, China with 379,000 visitors and the Republic of Korea with 193,000 arrivals.

Yuji Kumamaru, Japanese Ambassador to Cambodia, said the opening of the Tokyo-Phnom Penh direct route would raise the number of Japanese tourists to Cambodia as well as boost the growing relations between the two countries.

Cambodia is eying more flights from other countries with the aim of promoting its tourism and inviting more investors to the country.

It is currently servicing flights from Thailand, China and Vietnam as a few to name.

On June 17, 2016 the national flag carrier Angkor Air officially launched a route between Sihanoukville and Vietnam’s southern Ho Chi Minh City.

On April 17, it operated the Phnom Penh-Seoul (the Republic of Korea) route.

In 2015, the tourism sector greeted nearly 4.8 million international arrivals and earned over 3 billion USD in revenue, which accounted for around 20 percent of the country’s GDP.

It targets to welcome 7-8 million foreign tourists by 2020.-VNA