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April 20, 2012

Tourist flow to Cambodia's Angkor Wat doubles

     Phnom Penh: The number of foreign tourists to Cambodia's Angkor Wat temples, one of the world heritage sites, increased by 45 percent to 639,800 in the first quarter of this year, statistics of the Siem Reap provincial tourism department revealed on Friday. The top three countries visiting the temples are South Korea, Vietnam and China. During the period from January to March this year, some 132,750 South Koreans, 75,088 Vietnamese, and 49,231 Chinese had visited the temples, up 67 percent, 15 percent and 54 percent, respectively. "We see that the visitors from South Korea and China are on the sharp rise," Chhoeuy Chhorn, administration chief of Siem Reap provincial tourism department, said over telephone, adding "this thanks to the broader promotion of the temples to the world in combination with increased flights and more direct flight connection between Asian countries and Siem Reap province." Siem Reap's Angkor archeological park is the country's largest cultural tourism destination; it is located some 315 km northwest of Phnom Penh , the capital of Cambodia . An entrance fee to visit the temples is 20 U.S. dollars a day for a foreign visitor, 40 U.S. dollars for a three-day visit and 60 U.S. dollars for a weeklong visit. Last year, the temples attracted 1.6 million foreign visitors, an increase of 23 percent. The tourism industry is one of the main four pillars supporting the Cambodian economy. The others are garment industry, agriculture and real estates.
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