From the start of the year to October, Cambodia greeted about 2.86 million foreign tourists, a year-on-year rise of 24 percent, including 75 percent from Asia Pacific countries and 16.3 percent from European countries, said the Cambodian Ministry of Tourism on November 27.
The country's tourism promotion programme toward countries in the region showed high efficiency, with 1.2 million tourists from ASEAN countries, a year-on-year increase of 36.2 percent. In the Jan-October period, Vietnam topped the number of foreign tourists to Cambodia with more than 638,000 (up 24 percent). Following it were the Republic of Korea with 337,000 (up 23 percent) and China with 265,000 (up 34 percent).
Cambodia's two other neighbours, Lao and Thailand, ranked fourth and fifth in the number of tourists to the nation, with sudden year-on-year increases of 90 percent and 75 percent, respectively.
The Cambodian Ministry of Tourism forecast that in 2012, the country will welcome about 3.3-3.4 million foreign tourists, higher than the calculated figure of 3.1 million
The Angkor Complex in Siem Reap Province, Preah Vihear Temple in Preah Vihear Province and the sea tourism area in Kampong Som Province are the most favoured destinations for foreign tourists.
Statistics from the country's tourism ministry show that, in the Jan-October period of 2012, more than 656,000 Cambodian tourists travelled abroad, a year-on-year rise of 14 percent.
The Cambodian tourism sector is one of four major pillars of the national economy and always achieved rapid and stable growth in recent years. In 2011, the tourism sector earned a turnover of USD2.5 billion, accounting for the largest slice of GDP./.