via Khmer Times, 04 February 2020: The coronavirus originating from China is thought to be the main reason for the 18% year-on-year drop in tourists to Angkor in January. China is currently the largest tourist market for Cambodia and the industry is expecting a consequent slowdown in the coming months. Update (6 Feb 2020): Link to a NST article added below)
Although it did not disclose the reason behind the decline of tourist arrivals, it is believed to have been affected by fear of the Coronavirus, which has now killed 362 people and infected more than 17,300 globally as of Monday.
The development of the outbreak is rising rapidly and the infection rate has shown no signs of slowing down, a situation that has now been declared as a global emergency by the World Health Organisation last week.
Vongsey Visoth, secretary of state at the Finance Ministry, last week said that Cambodia’s economic growth is going to experience a slowdown because of the impact of the outbreak on the tourism sector.
“The outbreak of SARS that took place between 2002 and 2003 seriously affected global tourism,” Vongsey said. “Now the Coronavirus is affecting China, where one-third of our tourists come from, it will inevitably effect Cambodia.”