Friday, October 15, 2010

Visitors to Angkor Wat on the rise

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A monk walks through Siem Reap’s Angkor Wat complex, which has seen the number of foreign tourists rise by about 24 percent so far this year. Bloomberg

ANGKOR Wat has seen a 24 percent increase in visits by foreign tourists over the first nine months of 2010, compared to the same period last year.

Some 804,170 foreign tourists visited the temple complex during the period, a 23.91 percent increase on the 648,972 tourists who visited during the first nine months of 2009, according to a senior official at the Apsara Authority, who wished to remain nameless.

Apsara is the management authority for the temple complex.

Although total visits had increased, the Apsara official with knowledge of the situation declined to release year-on-year revenue figures.

Apsara Authority General Director Bun Narith said he could not immediately confirm revenues yesterday, as he was travelling. But he said that calculations were not simply a matter of multiplying total visitors by tickets prices.

“There are some 200 to 300 government delegations attending meetings in Siem Reap, and they visit the Angkor Wat for free,” he said.

Some 70 to 80 percent of foreign tourists travelling via bookings with the Cambodian Association of Travel Agents visit the Siem Reap temples, said association president Ang Kim Eang.

“Most guests think they did not see Cambodia if they miss visiting Angkor Wat,” he said.

Siem Reap is the largest hub for foreign visitors to the Kingdom, according to Kong Sopheareak, director of the Ministry of Tourism’s Department of Statistics and Tourism Information.

Foreign tourists pay US$20 to visit the temples for one day, $40 for three days, and $60 for a weeklong visit, he said.
(source from the phnom penh post newspaper, Friday, 15 October 2010 15:01 Rann Reuy) 

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