PHNOM PENH: Cambodia hosted a welcome ceremony for the return of Chinese tourists to Phnom Penh after China had lifted its travel restrictions.
The official welcoming ceremony was held at the Phnom Penh International Airport on Feb. 7 in the presence of H.E. Thong Khon, Cambodian Minister of Tourism, Chinese Ambassador to the Kingdom H.E. Wang Wentian, and Minister in charge of the State Secretariat of Civil Aviation H.E. Mao Havannall.
Air China (CA745) with 125 Chinese passengers on board is the first flight from Beijing to Phnom Penh after China allowed its citizens to travel abroad on Jan. 8, 2023.
“After the arrival of this first group of Chinese tourists, we will strive to attract some 800,000 to 1 million Chinese tourists in 2023,” said the tourism minister.
H.E. Thong Khon added that on Feb. 16, 2023, there will be the first flights from Kunming and Shanghai to Siem Reap cultural province.
H.E. Minister was optimistic that the number of Chinese tourists to Cambodia will gradually increase from March this year. Cambodia aims to attract 4.3 million international tourists in 2023, up from 2.3 million in 2022.
Tourism is one of the four pillars supporting the economy in Cambodia. In January alone, Cambodia received about 400,000 international tourists, of which 25,000 were Chinese, up 901 percent if compared with the same period in 2022.