Chinese New Year Tourists Boon to Siem Reap

A rise in the number of tourists visiting Siem Reap during Chinese New Year is giving a lift to the historic town’s beleaguered tourism industry.

Bookings are up since January and hotels and guest houses are full, with some operators scrambling to handle the extra business, according to tourism industry workers and officials.

“I think this year people can make good profits compared to past years because the country’s situation is better than before,” said guest house owner Ouk Chamroeun, whose $10-a-night rooms have been full all week. “Siem Reap has become a peaceful town now. We have colorful lights and lots of national heritage.”

“This is a good week. It’s not only us, but the whole town,” said

John Fukuda, media relations manager for Grand D’Angkor Hotel, where rates range from $310 to $1900 a night. “It should last through March and will taper off into the hot months.”

The number of visitors to Siem Reap in January was up 50 percent over January 1997, with 400 to 600 visitors coming into the town each day, according to Koum Soum Saroeun, chief of Siem Reap Tourism Office.




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