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The average visitor to Cambodia is a young Asian male, travelling independently to Cambodia for the first time while on holiday. He would have been one of more than five million visitors who made the trip to Cambodia last year, in line with predictions made as far back as 2010. A wide-ranging report just published by Cambodia’s Ministry of Tourism says that the Kingdom greeted 5,011,712 international tourists in 2016, an increase of 5% on the year before, and beating the Asia Pacific average of 3.9%.

Part of the increase can be attributed to a sharp rise in the number of European tourists, up 6.9% against 2015, while the Americas saw a jump of 11.9% (though slightly lower than their increase for 2015 which stood at 14%). Visitor numbers from the Middle East grew by 19.7%, slightly higher than the year before, while the number arriving from Africa grew by 20.5%, a substantial drop on the year before when numbers grew by almost 50%.

As ever though, Vietnamese arrivals accounted for the lion’s share of almost 20%. Chinese visitors were not far behind with 830,000, accounting for 16.6% of the tourist tally. Tourists from Thailand and Laos accounted for another 15.3%, with Koreans making up a further 7.1% of the market. The rest was divided up by other nationalities who each represented less than 5% of the market, including the USA (4.8%), Japan (3.8%), the UK (3.2%), Malaysia (3.1%), and France (3%).

The overwhelming majority of visitors came for tourism, with business only accounting for 3.5% of cited travel reasons. The MICE sector accounted for just 0.1% of visitors to the Kingdom showing clear scope for expansion.

Of those who made it here, almost 60% were male, and three-quarters were here for the first time. Almost 40% of the market was made up of 25 to 34-year-olds, followed by 15 to 24-year-olds who made up 15.7% of visitors. It is worth noting that Cambodia’s outbound tourism grew by more than 20%, with 1,434,030 trips out of the country.