Cambodia expects to welcome up to 4m international tourists in 2023

Authorities hope to return to the pre-Covid-19 tourism figures.
Authorities hope to return to the pre-Covid-19 tourism figures.

At least 1 million tourists would come from China in 2023, according to authorities.

Cambodia.- Cambodia expects as many as 4 million international tourists this year after China announced its reopening policy.

According to China’s Xinhua News Agency, Cambodian authorities said China is the world’s largest outbound tourism market and that China’s reopening will open a new chapter in international tourism.

Authorities also noted about 2.28 million international tourists visited the country in 2022, with China accounting for 106,000. They then added they want Cambodia to attract at least 1 million Chinese tourists in 2023.

The country hopes to return to pre-pandemic tourism numbers in 2019, when it welcomed 6.6 million international tourists and generated US$4.92bn in revenue, equivalent to 12 per cent of the country’s gross domestic product.

Cambodia has a significant casino industry and has traditionally catered to players from neighboring countries, including countries where casino gambling is not legal.

In recent years, China has waged a campaign against so-called “cross-border gambling” by mainland Chinese residents. Last November, the two countries strengthened ties to fight human trafficking, illegal online gambling and telecom fraud.

They also pledged to strengthen cooperation on infrastructure projects, trade and tourism. Direct flights are expected to increase as Beijing seeks to expand its economic influence in the region.

In October 2022, Sihanoukville authorities ordered all casino operators to obtain approval from the Sihanoukville government before engaging with the Ministry of Economy and Finance. The measure is aimed at tightening controls on the gaming industry.

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