PHNOM PENH, May 23 (Xinhua) -- Cambodia attracted 1.29 million international visitors in the first quarter of 2023, an increase of 709 percent from only 159,546 over the same period last year, said a Ministry of Tourism's report released on Tuesday.
Thailand topped the chart among the international arrivals to the Southeast Asian nation during the January-March period this year, followed by Vietnam and China, the report said, adding that some 424,241 Thais, 207,527 Vietnamese, and 132,665 Chinese visited the kingdom during the period.
Cambodian Tourism Minister Thong Khon said the kingdom is expected to attract more than 4 million international tourists this year after China optimized its anti-COVID-19 strategy and resumed its outbound group tours earlier this year.
"China is one of the most important outbound tourism markets for the world, so China's resumption of outbound tourism is very beneficial not only to Cambodia, but also to the whole world," he told Xinhua.
Tourism is one of the four sectors supporting the Cambodian economy. The country has three world heritage sites, namely Angkor archaeological park in northwestern Siem Reap province, Preah Vihear Temple in northwestern Preah Vihear province, and Sambor Prei Kuk archaeological site in central Kampong Thom province.
Besides, Cambodia is known for its pristine coastline stretching in the length of 450 km in four southwestern provinces of Sihanoukville, Kampot, Kep and Koh Kong.