Cambodia tourism industry eyes more Russian visitors

A tourist visits the Angkor Wat temple complex in Siem Reap province on Feb 17, 2017. Cambodia plans to attract more tourists from Russia. (Reuters photo)

The Cambodian Tourism Ministry has outlined the potential of tourism services and investment opportunities to Russia, hoping to attract tourists and investments to Cambodia.

Cambodia is aiming for a bigger share of the 30 million Russian tourists around the world, while the number of Russian travellers to the country is still flat. 

Speaking to Russian ambassador to Cambodia Dmitry Tsvetkov, Tourism Minister Thong Khon said Russia is one of the main markets in the European region for Asean and for Cambodia in particular, the Khmer Times reported on Wednesday.

Cambodia is preparing four main points, including pushing for direct flight between the countries, promoting tourism services particularly in the coastal provinces for Russians, organisation of low-cost trips for travel agents or consultants, and organisation of business match forums for Russian investors and businessmen in Cambodia.

Preah Sihanouk province is seen as an attractive tourism spot for Russian people as the Sihanoukville International Airport terminal building and runway are being expanded. 

Ho Vandy, secretary-general of the Cambodia National Tourism Alliance, said the influx of Russian tourists and investors was mostly to coastal areas.

“We should not just focus on Preah Sihanouk province and we should develop tourism products to attract them in Siem Reap and other areas,” he said. 

Sinn Chansereyvutha, spokesman of the State Secretariat for Civil Aviation, has spoken previously about the possibility of direct flights from Russia to Sihanoukville.

“The Russian side has urged that Cambodia expand the terminal and runway at Sihanoukville airport that will allow long-haul aircraft to land and take off,” he said.