Saturday, November 13, 2010

Tourism in Cambodia and Myanmar improves

Cambodia’s tourism ministry reported a 14% growth in tourist arrivals while Myanmar claims tourist arrivals grew by 37% so far this year.

In a ministry statement published by the Phnom Penh Post, Wednesday, the Ministry of Tourism claimed the country welcomed 1,803,180 foreign tourists in the first nine months, representing a 14.6% increase compared to 1,573,940 tourists in the same period last year. Data indicated 51% of international visitors or 920,627 entered the country through two airports in Siem Reap and Phnom Penh.

Siem Reap International Airport recorded 498,697 foreign arrivals, or a 17.65% increase during the first nine months compared to the same period last year. Meanwhile, Phnom Penh airport received 421,930 foreigners, an increase of 11% over the same period last year.

The largest source of overall arrivals was Vietnam (341,113 visitors, +49%) followed by Korea (207,412, +32%) and China (127,412, +40.8%).

However, China was the largest source of business visitors, 27,660 arrivals. Thailand was the ninth-largest source market, but saw a 8.77% decline, down to 76,036 trips. In an interview with local media, Ministry of Tourism director general, Tith Chantha said Cambodia had set a target of 2.5 million international visitors by the end of 2010, up from 2.16 million last year.

“Growth could be at around 15% for all of 2010 because of economic recovery, more regional flight connections and broad promotions,” he said.

In Yangon, officials reporting speaking to the government controlled Myanmar Times claimed international tourist arrivals, from January to September this year reached 201,823 trips, an increase of 37.14% compared with the same period last year.

Most visitors were from Asia, about 138,938, or 68.84% of all arrivals. This included 38,825 from Thailand, the largest single group; 23,634 from China; 13,210 from South Korea; 11,952 from Japan; and 11,124 from Malaysia.

About 41,171 trips, (20.4% of overall arrivals) were from Europe, including 8,579 from France, 6,375 from Germany and 4,960 from the United Kingdom.

In key destinations such as Yangon, Mandalay, Bagan and Inle Lake hoteliers reported reservations were up from last year resulting in higher occupancy rates that are likely to improve by 20 to 30% this year.

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