CAMBODIA is projected to receive 4.6 million international visitors this year, an expected rise of 10 percent from 4.2 million last year, Minister of Tourism Thong Khon said Saturday.
"In the first six months of this year, more than 2.2 million foreigners visited Cambodia, up 5.2 percent over the same period last year," he said during a tourism-related conference. "Based on this figure, we expect that the nation will welcome about 4.6 million foreign tourists in 2014."
The minister said the Southeast Asian nation is expected to draw up to 8 million foreign visitors in 2020 with an estimated revenue of US$5 billion.
He said China was a huge market for Cambodian tourism. Last year, the country received some 463,000 Chinese visitors, up 39 percent year-on-year.
"We project that around 800,000 Chinese will visit Cambodia in 2015 and nearly 2 million in 2020," he said.
Tourism is one of the four major pillars supporting the Cambodian economy, accounting for an estimated 16 percent of the GDP.
Cambodia is famous for its two world heritage sites. One is the 12th century Angkor Wat Temple and the other is the 11th century Preah Vihear Temple.
Besides, it has a pristine coastline, stretching over 450 km in four southwestern provinces of Preah Sihanouk, Kampot, Kep and Koh Kong.