Cambodia welcomed 3.2 million foreign tourists during the first nine months of 2014, a 5 percent increase from the same period last year, primarily hailing from Vietnam, China, the Republic of Korea, Laos and Thailand.

Cambodian Minister of Tourism Thong Khon said the three-quarter figure that is below the 19 percent growth rate experienced during the same period last year can be attributed to external factors including political instability in neighboring Thailand and worldwide fear over the Ebola epidemic.

Cambodia expects to receive about 4.6 million foreign arrivals by the end of this year, a 10 percent increase from 2013. These figures are ultimately predicted to escalate to 8 million foreigners by 2020, which will generate over 5 billion USD in tourism revenue.

In 2013, more than 4.2 million tourists visited Cambodia, a 17.5 percent increase from 2012, which generated 2.5 billion USD in tourism revenue or 16 percent of its gross domestic product.

Cambodia is best known for its two world heritage sites, Angkor Wat in Siem Reap and Preah Vihear Temple in Preah Vihear, though the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh and the 500km coastline boasting endless untouched beaches also attract a wide variety and large number of foreign tourists.-VNA