PHNOM PENH, Aug. 20 (Xinhua) -- Cambodia has attracted more than 740,000 international visitors in the first seven months of 2022, an increase of 560 percent compared to the same period last year, the Ministry of Tourism said in a news release on Saturday.
Tourism Minister Thong Khon said the re-opening of all socioeconomic activities has boosted growth at some major tourist destinations in capital city Phnom Penh, the cultural province of Siem Reap and the coastal province of Preah Sihanouk.
"In the first seven months of 2022, we have received more than 740,000 international tourists, up 560 percent compared to the same period in 2021 during the COVID-19 crisis," he said.
During the January-July period this year, neighboring Vietnam topped the chart of international tourist arrivals to the kingdom, followed by Thailand and China.
Cambodia is hoping to attract at least 1 million international tourists in 2022, much higher than only 200,000 in 2021, Khon said, adding that the number will hit 2 million in 2023 and reach the pre-COVID-19 level in 2026 or 2027.
In the pre-pandemic era, the kingdom welcomed 6.6 million international tourists in 2019, generating 4.92 billion U.S. dollars in revenue, according to the ministry.
Tourism is one of four pillars supporting the economy in the Southeast Asian nation.
The kingdom is famous for its three world heritage sites, namely the Angkor Archaeological Park in Siem Reap province, the Preah Vihear Temple in Preah Vihear province, and the Sambor Prei Kuk Archaeological Site in Kampong Thom province.
Besides, it has a 450-km pristine coastline stretching across four southwestern provinces. ■