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Cambodia ready to welcome return of Chinese investors, tourists

PHNOM PENH, Jan. 5 (Xinhua) -- Cambodia's Ministry of Tourism (MoT) said Thursday that the kingdom is ready to welcome the return of Chinese investors and tourists, saying that their presence is vital for its tourism and socioeconomic development.

"Cambodia is pleased to welcome the return of Chinese tourists as well as other international tourists," the ministry's press statement said. "Chinese investors and tourists importantly contribute to the growth of tourism and the socio-economic development of Cambodia."

The statement added that China's reopening of its borders from Jan. 8 will give a big boost to the tourism sector in all countries, as China is a huge source of potential tourists for the world.

According to the statement, prior to the pandemic era, Cambodia received 2.36 million Chinese tourists in 2019, generating about 1.8 billion U.S. dollars in revenue, while Chinese investment in tourism-related sectors represented more than 50 percent of the kingdom's total foreign direct investment (FDI).

"With the upcoming return of Chinese tourists, Cambodia is expected to receive around 7 million international tourists by 2025," the statement said, highlighting that the kingdom attracted some 2.2 million international tourists in 2022.

As 2023 marks the 65th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Cambodia and China, the MoT will launch a campaign titled "Cambodia-China Good Friends" to attract Chinese tourists to Cambodia in 2023, according to the statement.

Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen said Monday that China's upcoming reopening of its borders will revitalize the kingdom's economy and tourism, saying that Cambodia and other countries alike are looking forward to seeing the return of Chinese tourists.

"We hope to welcome about 2 million Chinese tourists again," he said in a public speech.

Cambodia is famous for its three world heritage sites, namely the Angkor Archaeological Park in Siem Reap province, the Preah Vihear Temple in Preah Vihear province, and the Sambor Prei Kuk Archaeological Site in Kampong Thom province.

Besides, it has a 450-km pristine coastline stretching across four southwestern provinces.