PHNOM PENH, Feb. 27 (Xinhua) -- Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen said on Monday that the kingdom's tourism sector earned gross revenue of 3.4 billion U.S. dollars in 2016.
The Southeast Asian nation attracted 5 million international visitors last year, a 5-percent rise year-on-year, according to a tourism data. Among them were 830,000 Chinese, accounting for 16.6 percent of the foreign tourists to Cambodia last year.
"We predict that Cambodia will welcome 5.4 million foreigners in 2017 and up to 7 million in 2020 with estimated revenue of 5 billion U.S. dollars," the prime minister said during the National Clean City Day.
He said that tourism industry currently provides some 620,000 direct jobs and the number of jobs will reach 1 million in 2020.
Meanwhile, Hun Sen said that the country's peace and political stability were the prerequisites for the attraction of tourists.
"Tourists will not risk their lives to visit dangerous or war zones..., so maintaining peace and political stability and preventing terrorism from happening in Cambodia are very important," he said, vowing to maintain the country's peace "at any cost".
Cambodia is famous for the 12th century Angkor Archeological Park in northwestern Siem Reap province. Besides, it has a 450-km pristine coastline stretching across four provinces in the country's southwestern part.
Tourism is one of the four pillars supporting the economy. The three other pillars are garment export, real estate and construction, and agriculture.