PHNOM PENH, Oct. 1 (Xinhua) -- Cambodia has seen a 12.5-percent decline in the number of foreign tourists to the famed Angkor Archeological Park during the first nine months of 2019, said an official statement on Tuesday.
The ancient park attracted 1.66 million foreign visitors during the January-September period this year, down 12.5 percent over the same period last year, said the state-owned Angkor Enterprise’s statement.
It added that the Southeast Asian nation earned gross revenue of 74.3 million U.S. dollars from ticket sales to the foreigners visiting the park during the first nine months of the year, down 13 percent over the same period last year.
In September alone, the Angkor received 110,677 foreigners earning 4.87 million dollars from ticket sales, down 29 percent and 28 percent, respectively compared to the same month last year, it said.
China, the United States, and South Korea remained the largest sources of foreign arrivals to the park.
Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen said in late August that the drop in the number of tourists to the Angkor in northwestern Siem Reap province should not be a cause for concern as it was the result of a government push to diversify the kingdom’s tourism offer.
“There has been a small slowdown in the number of tourists to Siem Reap. This is because we now have many other tourism destinations,” he said. “The decline of tourist arrivals in Siem Reap does not mean that fewer tourists visited Cambodia.”
The prime minister said tourist arrivals to the country as a whole have increased.
According to the Tourism Ministry’s latest report, a total of 3.84 million international tourists traveled to Cambodia during the first seven months of this year, up 11.1 percent over the same period last year.
The Angkor Archeological Park, inscribed on the World Heritage List of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 1992, is the kingdom's most popular tourist destination.