PHNOM PENH, Oct. 27 (Xinhua) -- Cambodia received more than 1.2 million international visitors in the first nine months of 2022, up 861 percent compared to the same period last year, according to a Ministry of Tourism report on Thursday.
During the January-September period this year, neighboring Thailand topped the chart of international tourist arrivals to Cambodia, followed by Vietnam, China, the United States and Indonesia, the report said.
"Based on this latest figure, Cambodia is expected to attract from 1.5 million to 2 million international tourists in the entirety of 2022," Tourism Minister Thong Khon told Xinhua.
He attributed the significant rise to the kingdom's full reopening of its borders to all travelers, tourism development strategies, and high COVID-19 vaccination rates.
Secretary of State of the Ministry of Tourism Top Sopheak said the number of international tourists to Cambodia is expected to reach the pre-COVID-19 pandemic level in 2026 or 2027.
In the pre-pandemic era, the Southeast Asian nation registered 6.6 million international tourists in 2019, generating 4.92 billion U.S. dollars in revenue.
"Cambodia's tourism sector has significantly recovered and is forecast to attract about 7 million international tourists in 2026 or 2027, and up to 7.5 million in 2028," he said.
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. ■