Tourism Revenue Increasing At Angkor Temple Complex

Revenue from ticket sales at Angkor Archeological Park in­creased by a third in the first half of this year and foreign visitors to the country are up 20 percent compared to the same period last year, officials said Thurs­day.

Bun Narith, director general of the Apsara Authority, which manages Angkor, said that ticket sales as of the end of June reached about $16 million dollars, a 33 percent jump from the same period in 2006, when revenue stood at around $12 million.

“The revenue from tickets is increasing,” he said, adding that tourists from Asian countries such as China, Japan and South Korea have made up the largest portion of the increase.

Tourism Minister Thong Khon said the boost in tourism is happening across the country.

“Now we have many other destinations [to visit],” he said

He added that as of June, tour­ism across the country was up 20 percent from the same period last year.

The divide in tourism numbers between the low season, from June to October, and the high season, from November to May, has continued to narrow every year, Thong Khon said. “Just as many tourists come in the low season as in the high season now,” he said.

Koy Song, director of the tour­ism department in Siem Reap town, said that although the boost in tourism is encouraging, few of those residing past the outskirts of the town are benefiting.

Villagers in the area travel to Siem Reap town to work as hotel staff, taxi drivers and laborers, the tourism director said.

But Koy Song added, “people outside Siem Reap gain so little profit because there is a lack of infrastructure and roads leading to [surrounding] villages,” he said.

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