PHNOM PENH, Sept. 10 (Xinhua): The number of international tourists to Cambodia has increased at a faster-than-expected pace, prompting the kingdom to lift its target to 2 million tourists for 2022, up from earlier forecast of 1 million, Tourism Minister Thong Khon said on Saturday.
The South-East Asian nation received 998,272 international visitors in the first eight months of 2022, up 720 percent compared to the same period last year, according to Ministry of Tourism's latest report.
In August alone, the kingdom welcomed 254,813 foreign holidaymakers, up 2,680 percent compared to the same month last year, the report said.
During the January-August period this year, neighboring Thailand topped the chart of the international tourist arrivals to Cambodia, followed by Vietnam, China, the United States and Indonesia, the report added.
"Based on these latest figures, Cambodia is expected to attract from 1.5 million to 2 million international tourists in the entirety of 2022," the minister told Xinhua.
Khon attributed the sharp rise to the kingdom's full reopening of its borders to all travelers, tourism development strategies, and high Covid-19 vaccination rates.
Tourism is one of the four pillars supporting Cambodia's economy. In the pre-pandemic era, the country greeted up to 6.6 million international tourists in 2019, generating gross revenue of US$4.92 billion, according to the Ministry of Tourism. - Xinhua