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Feature: Vendors, service providers in Cambodia expect more Chinese tourists

Updated: May 28, 2024 Source: Xinhua News Agency
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SIEM REAP, Cambodia, May 28 (Xinhua) -- Souvenir vendors and transportation service providers here in northwest Cambodia's Siem Reap province are keen to see more Chinese tourist arrivals, saying that their presence is essential to revitalize the tourism industry.

Selling a variety of souvenirs such as copper-made crafts, jewelry, clothes, hats, glasses, and handbags at the Old Market in Siem Reap town, Eak Vantha, a 40-year-old souvenir vendor, said Chinese holidaymakers are good and big spenders for souvenirs.

"I desire to see a lot of Chinese tourists coming to Cambodia. The more they come, the better our sales will be because they like buying a lot of souvenirs," she told Xinhua in a recent interview.

Vantha said there has been a gradual increase in the number of international tourists, including Chinese ones, to Siem Reap after the Chinese-invested Siem Reap Angkor International Airport was launched in November 2023.

"I think the new airport will help attract more tourists because it makes them more convenient to travel to Siem Reap, as this new airport is quite bigger and more modern than the old one," the mother of two children said.

Vantha is confident that the 2024 Cambodia-China People-to-People Exchange Year will help attract more Chinese tourists to Cambodia, particularly to Siem Reap province.

Siem Reap is home to the 401-square-km Angkor Archaeological Park, which was inscribed on the World Heritage List of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization in 1992.

The Southeast Asian country's most popular tourist hotspot is home to 91 ancient temples built over a time span from the 9th to the 13th centuries.

Koy Pros, another souvenir vendor at the Old Market, said he has sold souvenirs such as cowhide carvings and paintings at the market for more than two years.

"Like others, I am eager to see the large number of Chinese tourists to Cambodia like they came in the pre-pandemic era," he added.

Pros said the best tourist attractions in Siem Reap are the Angkor Wat temple, Bayon temple, Ta Prohm temple and Banteay Srei temple, and the most popular tourist spot at night is the Pub Street near the Old Market.

Speaking of the new airport, he said the airport is big, which can accommodate a lot of planes, so he hopes that more planes will bring more tourists to Cambodia, especially to Siem Reap.

Phay Seth, a 41-year-old tuk-tuk driver in Siem Reap town, said security and safety in the province are quite good for tourists. "More tourists will lead to higher demand for transportation services."

China was the fifth-largest source of the international tourist arrivals to the Angkor Archaeological Park in the first four months of 2024, according to a report from the state-owned Angkor Enterprise.

About 28,172 Chinese holidaymakers sightsaw the park during the January-April period this year, up 53 percent from 18,437 over the same period 2023.

Editor: Gao Jingyan