August 4, 2023
PHNOM PENH – Nearly 440,000 international tourists bought tickets for Angkor Archaeological Park in the first seven months of 2023, which saw Angkor Enterprise earn over $20 million – more than five times the amount made in the same period in 2022.
State-run Angkor Enterprise manages ticket sales for Siem Reap-located Angkor Archaeological Park and Koh Ker Temple as well as boat rides in Chong Kneas Port.
Since early 2023, foreign tourists and international flights to Cambodia have grown steadily, with Thai, Vietnamese and Chinese tourists accounting for the lion’s share, said Cambodia Chinese Tour Guide Association (CCTGA) president Thiem Thuong.
He felt that the number of foreign tourists visiting Cambodia might spike with the new Siem Reap International Airport opening in October this year.
“We expect that the new Siem Reap International Airport would see a significant rise in foreign tourists, especially Chinese,” Thuong told The Post on August 3.
Although tourism in Cambodia declined sharply in the last three years, association members maintained close communication with each other during that time and took part in tourism training to prepare themselves for tourists.
Based on Angkor Enterprise’s data, ticket prices for Angkor Archaeological Park are divided into three categories, which are one-day ticket at $37, three-day ticket at $62 and seven-day ticket at $72.
In addition to the ticket revenue from Angkor Archaeological Park, Angkor Enterprise also recorded fees totalling $434,793 from foreigners who visited Koh Ker temple and went on boat rides at Chong Kneas Port.
The boat ride proved more popular with tourists, as $328,668 was collected between January and July this year.
In 2022, Angkor Enterprise made $11.9 million from ticket sales, comprising $11.5 million from the Angkor Archaeological Park, $90,450 from Koh Ker and $165,308 from Chong Kneas Port, its latest press release stated.
Meanwhile, Angkor Tourist Guide Association president Khieu Thy observed that although the effects of Covid-19 have tapered, foreign tourists visiting ancient temple sites in Siem Reap have not increased “as much as before”, though it is growing slowly.
“Most of the visitors are from neighbouring countries and within Asia,” he said, adding that it was difficult to estimate the number of tourists expected at the end of the year, which is the high season, as it is a low season now.
“We really want more visitors because in addition to creating jobs, it also provides income to those involved in the tourism industry. I expect that in the upcoming high season, more foreigners will visit the Angkor Wat temple,” he said.
Separately, public institution Apsara National Authority, which manages and develops tourism in the Angkor area since August 1, 2023, has launched a new tour at Angkor Wat and Banteay Srei.
The tour is aimed at improving the quality of tourist sights and raising the value of the temple, as well as providing a good experience for national and international tourists.