Foreign visitors to Cambodia down 64.6 pct in H1 due to COVID-19 pandemic

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PHNOM PENH, Aug. 4 (Xinhua) -- Cambodia attracted 1.18 million international visitors during the first half of 2020, down 64.6 percent from 3.33 million over the same period last year, said the latest report released by the Ministry of Tourism on Tuesday.

China, Vietnam and Thailand were the biggest sources of foreign travelers to the kingdom during the January-June period this year, the report said.

It added that some 275,673 Chinese, 179,698 Vietnamese, and 161,084 Thais visited the country during the first six months of this year, down 79 percent, 55 percent, and 7.6 percent, respectively compared to the same period last year.

In June alone, Cambodia received only 12,284 foreign visitors, a drop of 97 percent from 450,013 over the same month last year, the report said.

The huge slump in the number of international arrivals to Cambodia was due to the COVID-19 pandemic that forced the country to impose entry restrictions for all foreign travelers since March.

Tourism Minister Thong Khon has predicted that Cambodia could lose about 3 billion U.S. dollars in tourism revenue in 2020 due to the remarkable drop in the number of international visitors.

"For 2020, due to the COVID-19 crisis, the number of foreign tourists to Cambodia can drop by 70 percent," he said.

Tourism is one of the four sectors supporting Cambodia's economy as the country attracted 6.6 million international visitors in 2019, earning a total revenue of 4.9 billion U.S. dollars.

The Southeast Asian nation has recorded a total of 241 confirmed COVID-19 cases to date, with 200 patients cured and 41 remained in hospital, according to the Ministry of Health. Enditem

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