Cambodia sets up tourism center to ‘get ready’ for influx of Chinese tourists

Two million Chinese visitors are predicted to enter Cambodia per year till 2020. Pic: Manfred Sommer/flickr

TOURISTS from China are streaming into Asia-Pacific countries more than tourists from anywhere else. Numbers indicate that Chinese travelers are recorded as Asia’s biggest source market, taking up 15.7 percent of the market share.

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In Cambodia, to prepare for the influx of Chinese tourists in the coming years, the China Ready Centre (CRC) was recently established.

The center will cater to approximately two million Chinese tourists predicted to enter the country per year till 2020. The center will also aim to train local tourist operators and agents to deal with Chinese clients.

Ministry of Tourism Thong Khon said, “This center will facilitate research on the requirements and demands of Chinese tourists as well as strengthen the Chinese language and cultural skills of Cambodian tourist operators.”

This year, the ministry devised a strategy to cater to Chinese travelers, and a “China Ready for Cambodia Tourism” publication indicated that multiple visas for the Chinese would be approved soon. The paper also outlined a five-year plan to woo travelers from China.

In the first four months of this year alone, Cambodia welcomed about 275,000 Chinese tourists, a jump of 13.6 percent when compared with last year’s numbers.

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The rise of Chinese tourists is also a pattern observed in neighboring Thailand as 8.2 million visitors from the Middle Kingdom are expected to visit Bangkok this year.

In the Asia-Pacific region, China tourists are predicted to spend up to US$45.3 billion, totaling to about 18 percent of total tourist expenditure.