International tourists to Cambodia double in Q1 hinh anh 1Travellers disembark a plane from Singapore at Siem Reap International Airport. (Photo: AKP/VNA)

Phnom Penh (VNA) – Cambodia received a total of 151,680 foreign visitors in the first quarter of this year, an increase of 114 percent from 70,901 arrivals recorded in the same period last year, according to Kong Sopheareak, director of the Tourism Statistics Department at the Ministry of Tourism.

Of the figure, 86,588 tourists arrived in the Southeast Asian country by air, up 158 percent year-on-year, he said.

Vietnam topped the chart of the international tourist arrivals to Cambodia, followed by Thailand and China.

During the first quarter of this year, there were 1,012 flights to the capital Phnom Penh, 144 flights to Siem Reap province and 55 flights to Preah Sihanouk province, the diplomat said.

Sopheareak said the sharp rise in the number of foreign visitors came after the country fully resumed its socio-economic activities and reopened its borders to fully vaccinated travellers without quarantine since mid-November last year.

With the country’s quarantine-free policy, the ministry is confident that tourists will consider Cambodia as a key destination for their vacations. The country hopes to attract between 600,000 and 700,000 international tourists in 2022, an expected rise from only 200,000 in 2021, he said.

Angkor Archaeological Park, the kingdom's most popular tourist destination, registered 19,840 foreign visitors in the first quarter of 2022, up 342 percent from 4,482 in the same period last year, according to the data from the management agency of Angkor World Heritage Site.

Up to 38 roads with a total length of 108 km in the cultural town of Siem Reap, the gateway to the UNESCO-listed Angkor Archaeological Park, were inaugurated on April 4.

The total investment for these roads was 150 million US dollars. The construction began in November 2020 and was completed early this year.

Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen Hun Sen said the roads, together with the Siem Reap Angkor International Airport scheduled to be put into operation in late 2023, will give a big boost to the development of tourism in Siem Reap province during the post-COVID-19 pandemic era.

Tourism is one of the four pillars supporting Cambodia's economy. The country attracted up to 6.61 million international tourists in 2019, generating a gross revenue of 4.92 billion USD, according to the Ministry of Tourism./.