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Asean Affairs   4 February 2014

Cambodian tourism is still surging
Reinhard Hohler, Chiang Mai (31.01.2014)
According to the breaking news of Bangkok Post, political problems in Cambodia in the wake of the country's last election have not deterred tourists from visiting it.
About 4.2 million visitors went to Cambodia last year, a 14% jump from 3.86 million in 2012, that preliminary figures indicate from the Cambodian Tourism Ministry.
Vietnamese topped the number of foreign tourists followed by the Japanese and Koreans, it added.
Cambodia was hit by protests - led by opposition leader Sam Rainsy of the Cambodia National Rescue Party - against Prime Minister Hun Sen and his Cambodia People's Party after the election in July last year. Demonstrators were upset about poll cheating.
Kong Sopheareak, a Tourism Ministry official, told that the demonstrations did not affect the tourism sector.
"Tourism numbers increased, but at a slower rate than from 2012 to 2013. But last year we beat our target of 4.15 million visitors, so I don't think the political situation and protests have affected tourism much. Tourists are still coming because they have planned their holidays and don't want to change," he was quoted as saying.
But compared to the 26.7 million tourist arrivals to Thailand in 2013, Cambodian tourism is still in its infancy. In the same time it has to be seen, how the political turmoil in Thailand will influence the upcoming tourism arrivals in 2014 to both countries.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More


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