Iconic Cambodian landscapes, such as the Cardamom Mountains have a wealth of natural assets that allow for new and exciting multi-day tourism itineraries for domestic and international markets. In addition, the remoteness of Cambodia’s picturesque forested landscapes also entices the mid to high-end tourist market, who are looking to unwind and unplug.
Cambodia’s tourism industry is a key contributor to its economic growth. It provides a sizable contribution to Cambodia’s economy (21 percent of GDP in 2019), which has been on the rise for the past ten years. The ecotourism sector was a notable part of this and, in recent years, was showing signs of even greater growth than the rest of the tourism industry.
A recent slowdown in the growth of tourism in Cambodia, however, points to a need to diversify the sector. Angkor Wat in Siem Reap has been the main attraction to Cambodia, and while the iconic temples still draw crowds, statistics show that growth in arrivals to Angkor sites is slowing. Experts suggest that the decelerated growth of tourist arrivals is due to fewer Chinese tourists visiting Siem Reap. Instead, these tourists are increasingly drawn to Cambodia’s coastal areas. Another reason is that higher competition from neighboring countries, especially Vietnam, is drawing Chinese and South Korean tourists away from Siem Reap.