Cambodia tourism revenue in 2019 reached almost five billion dollars, according to a report issued by the Southeast Asian nation’s Ministry of Tourism, reports The Cambodia Daily online.

Rise in Cambodia Tourism Revenue

The total of $4.9 billion represents a rise of 13% compared with 2018. The number of travellers visiting the country also rose to 6.61 million, the report states.

This increase was driven by the surge in Chinese tourists, with some 2.36 million visitors from China coming to the country last year, a 16.7 % increase on 2018.

Cambodia’s neighbours Vietnam and Thailand had the second and third highest numbers of visitors to Cambodia.

Tourism is vital to the Cambodian economy contributing 21.1% of the country’s GDP in 2019.

Decline in Visitors to Angkor Wat

However, the number of tourists visiting Angkor Wat has declined.

According to a report by Angkor Enterprise some 2.2 million foreign travellers bought passes to the Angkor archaeological site in 2019, which represents a 15 percent decline on 2018. Ticket receipt income was $99 million.

Planning to visit Cambodia? Read our 4 Festivals in Cambodia not to miss.

Impact of China Coronavirus on Tourism

The Cambodian Ministry of Tourism has forecast that the number of tourists to the country is likely to decline in 2020 by 2.4% to 6.45 due to the impact of COVID-19 virus. China is the country most heavily affected by the virus.

Although Cambodia has yet to be severely affected by the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak with only one reported case in Sihanoukville, concerns were raised when the country allowed cruise liner MS Westerdam to dock at the country.

Going to visit Angkor? Why not go on a Siem Reap art tour?

Coronovirus COVID-19 started in Hubei province, China, and has infected more than 81,000 people globally, killing 2,763, according to John Hopkins CSSE.