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Vietnamese top list of foreign tourist arrival in Cambodia

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Vietnamese people have surpassed South Koreans to top the list of foreign tourist arrivals in Cambodia in the past months of 2009, national media said on Friday.

There has been an obvious rise of visitors coming from the neighboring country since the new year started, Chinese-language daily newspaper the Commercial News quoted Tourism Ministry officials as saying.

In January, the kingdom received 22,875 visitors from Vietnam and 22,524 from South Korea.

The rise of Vietnamese tourists could be attributed to the traditional friendship, the convenience of communication and the policy of mutual exemption of visa between the two neighboring countries, they said.

Meanwhile, the number of South Korean tourists fell by some 30 percent in the past months of 2009 over the same period last year, a direct reflection of the deep percussion of the global financial crisis in the country, they added.

Earlier this month, Tourism Minister Thong Khon told a press conference that foreign tourist arrivals in Cambodia dropped by 2. 19 percent in January, compared with the same month of 2008.

Cambodia received around 2 million foreign tourist arrivals in 2008, a 5.5 percent rise over 2007, but slightly lower than the government’s expectation, according to official figures.

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