PHNOM PENH, July 24 (Xinhua) -- About 788,387 Chinese tourists had visited Cambodia in the first five months of 2018, up 78.7 percent compared to the same period last year, the Tourism Ministry's latest report showed on Tuesday.
Chinese holidaymakers accounted for 30.4 percent of the 2.59 million international tourists visiting Cambodia during the January-May period this year, the report said, adding that China topped the chart among the top 10 international arrivals to the kingdom.
Cambodian Tourism Minister Thong Khon had attributed the remarkable rise in Chinese tourists to Cambodia to excellent bilateral ties, Cambodia's attractive tourism sites and increasing direct flights between the two countries.
He said the Southeast Asian country is projected to receive around 1.7 million Chinese tourists in 2018 and up to 2.5 million in 2020.
"There has been a rise in the middle class in China," he told Xinhua on the sidelines of a recent tourism conference. "Chinese people are now rich, and they are keen to spend their holidays overseas."
Cambodia has three world heritage sites, namely the Angkor archeological park, the Preah Vihear Temple, and the Sambor Prei Kuk archeological site.
Besides, it has a pristine coastline stretching in the length of 450 km in four southwestern provinces of Koh Kong, Preah Sihanouk, Kampot and Kep.
Tourism is one of the four sectors supporting the country's economy. Last year, the country received 5.6 million foreign tourists including 1.21 million Chinese, earning gross revenue of 3.6 billion U.S. dollars.