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Monday, July 26, 2010

Cambodian visitors drawn to tourism industry

July, 27 2010
VNA (Hanoi)

With the aim of serving 4.5 million foreign tourists in 2010, the tourism industry is giving priority to the top ten markets boasting the highest numbers of visitors to Vietnam, including Cambodia.

Statistics released by the General Statistics Office show the number of Cambodian holidaymakers to Vietnam grew steadily during the first six months of the year, reaching 117,000, a year-on-year rise of 36 percent.

The tourism sector predicts the number of Cambodian tourists would surge by 30 percent in 2010 from 118,000 last year.

Ho Chi Minh City leads the nation in terms of attracting Cambodian visitors, making up 60-70 percent of the total number, followed by the Central Highland province of Lam Dong, the Mekong Delta province of An Giang and the southern province of Binh Duong.

Industry insiders said visa exemptions, high quality goods, attractive tourist destinations and convenient travel are the main factors after an increasing number of holidaymakers from Cambodia.

Transport firms such as Mai Linh and the Saigon Passenger Transportation Company (Sapaco) have highly valued the development of tourist transport services between the two neighbours. Every day, almost 80 bus trips full of passengers operate on the route.

In a recent interview, the Secretary of State of the Cambodian Ministry of Tourism, He So Somara, said Cambodians used to prefer travelling to Thailand, but now they choose Vietnam for their holidays due to short distance, the availability of border gates, similar foods, low expenses, and diverse tourism forms, including resort and health tourism.

Dr Phan Thanh Hai, Director of the Ho Chi Minh City-based Medic centre, said an average of more than 100 Cambodian patients have come to the centre for medical checks-up each day, accounting for 10 percent of the total number. Other hospitals such as Cho Ray, Traditional Medicine and Vu Anh have become popular destinations of Cambodians.


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