Chinese tourists post at Angkor Wat in Siem Reap, Cambodia on Dec 9, 2018.(Photo: VCG)
PHNOM PENH, May 10 (Xinhua) -- About 683,436 Chinese tourists visited Cambodia in the first quarter of 2019, up 35.1 percent over the same period last year, said a report released by Cambodia's Tourism Ministry on Friday.
China remained the largest source of foreign tourists to the Southeast Asian country, accounting for 36.4 percent of the total foreign arrivals during the January-March period this year, the report said.
A total of 1.87 million international tourists traveled to Cambodia during the first three months of this year, up 9.7 percent over the same period last year, it said.
Cambodian Tourism Minister Thong Khon told Xinhua that the country is expected to attract three million Chinese tourists in 2020 and five million in 2025.
"Thanks to our close ties, our attractive tourism sites, and increasing direct flights between our two countries. I believe that we can achieve these targets," he said.
Tourism is one of four sectors supporting Cambodia's economy.
Last year, the country received 6.2 million foreign tourists including 2 million Chinese, earning gross revenue of $4.35 billion dollars, the minister said, adding that tourism contributed 12.7 percent to the country's GDP.
Cambodia is famous for three world heritage sites, namely the Angkor archeological park, the Preah Vihear temple, and the Sambor Prei Kuk archeological site.
Besides, it has a pristine coastline stretching 450 km in four southwestern provinces of Koh Kong, Preah Sihanouk, Kampot and Kep.