PHNOM PENH, Jan. 17 (Xinhua) -- Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen said Wednesday that the government planned to build two international airports to accommodate the high growth of tourists to the kingdom.
Speaking to about 17,000 garment factory workers on Phnom Penh's southwestern suburb, the prime minister said the government had approved plans to construct two new airports to accommodate travelers to Phnom Penh and to northwestern Siem Reap province, the home of Angkor world heritage site.
"We have planned to develop 2 new airports -- one in Phnom Penh and the other in Siem Reap -- because the capacity of the existing airports is not big enough for our long-term goal," he said, adding that the number of tourists to the kingdom has been steadily increasing.
Cambodia received up to 5.6 million foreign tourists in 2017.
According to government documents, the country approved last month an investment proposal from Cambodia Airport Investment Co. Ltd to build a 1.5-billion-U.S.-dollar airport on the area of 2,600 hectares in Kandal province, about 30 km south of Phnom Penh.
And in August last year, the country approved an investment proposal from China's state-owned Yunnan Investment Holdings Ltd (YIHL) to construct a 962-million-U.S.-dollar airport in Siem Reap province.
Cambodia is expected to welcome 7 million foreign tourists in 2020, generating 5 billion U.S. dollars in revenue and creating 1 million direct jobs, according to Tourism Minister Thong Khon.