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Cambodia attracts some 460,000 Chinese visitors in 2013, up 38 pct

PHNOM PENH, Feb. 4 (Xinhua) -- Cambodia greeted about 460,000 Chinese tourists last year, up 38 percent from 333,900 in a year earlier, according to a report of the Ministry of Tourism on Tuesday.

China is the second largest source of tourists to Cambodia after Vietnam, the report said.

Cambodian Tourism Minister Thong Khon said last week that the steady growth of Chinese tourists to Cambodia was thanks to the country's attractive tourism destinations, political stability and good security, and direct flight connections between the two countries.

"Moreover, excellent relations between the Cambodian government and the Chinese government have encouraged more Chinese tourists and business people to Cambodia," he said.

"Currently, we are working to attract more Chinese tourists, particularly to the Angkor Wat temple and the beautiful coastal areas," he added.

In June last year, the Southeast Asian nation unveiled a strategy in a bid to draw at least 600,000 Chinese tourists in 2015 and up to 1.3 million Chinese in 2018.

Under the strategy, the country would prepare entry-exit application forms and announcements at airports in Chinese language, write signs on main roads in Chinese language, study to establish China Towns and train more Chinese speaking tour guides.

Cambodia is the destination for ecological and cultural tourism. It is famous for its 12th century Angkor Wat Temple, a world heritage site, and the 11th century Preah Vihear Temple, another world heritage site.

Besides, it has a pristine coastline stretching in the length of 450 km in four provinces of Koh Kong, Preah Sihanouk, Kampot and Kep. The coastline was recognized as one of the World's Most Beautiful Bays in 2011.

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