International tourist arrival figures for 2020 decline by 80 percent

The number of international tourist arrivals in Cambodia in 2020 reached 1.306 million, a decline of 80 percent from 2019, according to an official report from the ministry of tourism.

Chinese tourists topped the list of arrivals by nationality at 329,673. Thailand ranked second with 210,876 and Vietnam was third at 182,199. The US followed with 55,973, with Korea (ROK) next at 55,935. The UK accounted for 44,784 tourists, France was just behind that with 43,174 arrivals. Japanese tourists amounted to 41,257, visitors from Laos totalled 34,352 and Germany accounted for 27,280 visitors.

China, Thailand and Vietnam were the largest sources of foreign travellers to Cambodia in 2020, making up a collective 55 percent of total arrivals. The ministry reported that Chinese arrivals declined by 86 percent, Thai visits were down 55 percent and Vietnamese arrivals dropped by 80 percent year from 2019 levels. The report also cited 2020 Cambodian outbound travel at 326,199 departures, down around 84 percent from 2019.

Sar Sarin, chief executive officer of Channel Group, noted travel agents are facing income issues as expenses remain high as they try to maintain their skilled labour.

He said that to restore the tourism sector and attract more tourists in the post-COVID-19 era, the government should consider reducing the number of quarantine days from 14 days to between 10 days and a week depending on circumstances, as was done in Thailand.

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