Cambodia Association of Travel Agents says China will soon overtake Vietnam as the main source of the country’s tourists.
But there are major concerns over capacity management and how the country’s tourist industry will cope with the shortage of Chinese speaking guides.
The association president, Chhay Sivlin, says that the strengthening of relations between Cambodia and China and the government’s strategy to promote more Chinese tourist arrivals, will accelerate tourist arrivals over the next two years.
A flood of cheap Chinese tours could swamp popular tourist destinations especially in Siem Reap, the main tourist destinations, famed for Angkor Wat a World Heritage site.
But the dominant thread in tourism announcements, made by the private sector and government, is the underlying pressure to reach numerical targets that could compromise the quality of the travel experience and the environment.
The preoccupation is with expansion and catching up with neighbors. The main drivers are airlines that serve the destination from China, many of them offering cheap charter flights that bring in low-revenue package tours.
“Ministry of Tourism still needs to increase direct flights in order to reach the country’s target of welcoming 7 million tourists by 2020, including 2 million Chinese visitors,” he said.
Meanwhile, China came in second with 830,003 visits increasing 19.5% from 694,712 visits, according to Ministry of Tourism’s Statistics and Tourist Information Department figure.
In 2016, 13 airlines launched direct flights from different destinations in the region to Cambodia. The majority of the airlines are from China followed by Japan and Thailand.
Chinese airlines increasing flights, last year, included Hainan Airlines, Lucky Air, Tianjin Airlines, Spring Airlines and Beijing Capital Airlines.
Many opportunities for Cambodian tourism companies, more and more Chinese spend their holiday in their country, and they are becoming more and more rich and like to spend their money.
In 2013, China has overtaken South Korea to become the 2nd largest tourist source to Cambodia, with 305 500 visitors, up 47%, up according to the data from the Cambodian Ministry of Tourism.
Vietnam remained topped the chart among the top ten tourist arrivals to Cambodia with 584,800 tourists during the January-August period this year, up 12 percent year-on- year.
It added that during the first 8months of 2013, Cambodia has received a total of 2.77 million foreign tourists, up 19 % every year.
The minister said the country has set a target to attract between 1.5 million and 2 million Chinese tourists by 2020.
Chinese are rich now, more and more Chinese have been visiting abroad every year.
Close ties between Cambodia and China is an essential base to attract more Chinese to Cambodia.
Excellent ties between the two countries and improving Cambodian tourism quality and services will encourage more Chinese to this Southeast Asia nation in coming years.
Cambodian Minister of Tourism Thong Khon attributed the rise of Chinese traveller to attractive sites such as the Angkor Wat temple, a World Heritage Site, the beautiful coastline, like one of the top most Beautiful Bays.
Cambodia’s Angkor Wat temples, one of the world heritage sites. This Buddhist temple complex in Cambodia and the largest religious monument in the world and attracted 1.57 million foreign travellers in the first nine of the year, +6% compared with the same period in a year earlier.
During the January-September period this year, the monument welcomed 201,000 Chinese, +60 %.
“China is leading the growth of tourists to the site this year thanks to Cambodia-China excellent ties, broader promotion of the Angkor to the world, and more direct flight connection between Cambodia and China,” Chhoeuy Chhorn, administration chief of the Siem Reap provincial tourism department said.
Last year, the temples attracted 2.06 million foreign visitors, up 28 percent year-on-year.
Chinese tourists use to do a lot of Shopping and purchase gifts, and local products.
They also like entertainement and will eat local food, sing in KTV and go to bars. They enjoy massage, and local SPA beauty services.
You still have a lot of travellers with low budget, but more and more rich Chinese Business men travel in Cambodia and like nice hotels.
80% of Chinese people will search information online before their travel , and 66% will use Internet to book flight, hotel and prepare their trip.
You will find a lot of usefull information on many websites about Cambodia, and users’ experiences.
Look this for example
About 830,000 Chinese tourists visited Cambodia in 2016, a 19.5-percent rise year-on-year, according to a Cambodian Tourism Ministry report on Thursday.
Chinese holidaymakers accounted for 16.6 percent of the 5 million international tourists traveling to the Southeast Asian country last year, the report said.
It added that China ranked the second largest source of tourists to Cambodia after Vietnam, whose 959,600 people visited the kingdom last year, down 2.8 percent year-on-year.
Cambodia targets 2 million Chinese tourists by 2020.
Last year, the country launched a white paper which listed steps to be taken by tourism authorities to facilitate visits by Chinese tourists, such as providing Chinese signage and documents for visa processing, encouraging local use of the Chinese yuan currency, encouraging the use of Chinese language, and ensuring that food and accommodation facilities are suited to Chinese tastes.
Cambodia is famous for the 12th century Angkor Archeological Park in northwestern Siem Reap province. Besides, it has a 450-km pristine coastline stretching across four provinces in the country's southwestern part.
Tourism Minister Thong Khon estimated last month that tourism industry earned gross revenue of more than 3 billion U.S. dollars in 2016, accounting for 13 percent of the country's Gross Domestic Product (GDP).