PHNOM PENH, July 20 (Xinhua) -- Cambodian Tourism Minister said on Tuesday that foreign tourist arrivals in the Kingdom has increased more than 11 percent for the first six months this year compared with same period of last year, thanks to economic recovery in Asia.
Tourism Minister Thong Khon said the government's commitment to keeping cities clean also contributed to attract tourists to visit the Southeast Asian nation, which has more than 800 historic temples nationwide, an estimated 900 historic hills and 80 ancient bridges, as well as beaches, resorts and waterfall.
"But the recovery of Asian economies is the main factor behind an increase of the foreign tourist arrivals to our country," Thong Khon said.
He said the number of Vietnamese tourists is in the lead, followed by South Korea and China.
According to a tourism official, who worked for the statistic department and asked not to be named, the total number of foreign tourists who arrived in Cambodia by land, water and air increased to more than 1.2 million for the first six months of 2010 compared with 1.08 million for the same period of last year.
The number of Vietnam tourists was recorded 210,000 and 140,000 from South Korea, and Chinese visitors stood at more than 80,000, he said.
With the recovery of the global economy, Cambodia hopes to see its tourism sector increase by 14 percent through out 2010 to 2.4 million, from 2.16 million in 2009. Cambodia received 2.12 million foreign tourists in 2008.
Tourism sector, which is one of the country's backbone after agriculture and garments, netted 1.5 billion U.S. dollars in 2008. But the international financial crisis has lowered the revenue to 578 million U.S. dollars in 2009.
The sector also generated about 566,444 of both direct and indirect jobs, according to the research of the government-run Supreme National Economic Council.