Tourism in Cambodia

Tourism in Cambodia

Cambodia recorded a total of one million tourists in 2020, ranking 86th in the world in absolute terms.

That smaller countries regularly perform lower in a comparison of the absolute number of guests, is obvious. By putting the tourist numbers in relation to the population of Cambodia, the result is much more comparable picture: With 0.079 tourists per resident, Cambodia ranked 128th in the world. In Southeast Asia, it ranked 6th.

In 2020, Cambodia generated around 1.12 billion US dollars in the tourism sector alone. This corresponds to 4.2 percent of its the gross domestic product and approximately 4 percent of all international tourism receipts in Southeast Asia.

Worldwide comparisons:
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Back to overview: Cambodia

On average, each of the tourists arriving in 2020 spent about 814 US dollars. Conversely, the inhabitants of Cambodia spend only around 620 dollars a year when they themselves spend vacations abroad.

Tourism in CambodiaThe most popular destinations in Cambodia are above all:
  • The vast ruins of Angkor Wat near the city of Siam Reap
  • The capital Phnom Penh with the Royal Palace, the Silver Pagoda and the promenade of the Tonle Sap
  • The port city of Sihanoukville and the surrounding beaches

Development of the tourism sector in Cambodia from 1995 to 2020

The following chart shows the number of tourist arrivals registered in Cambodia each year. Anyone who spends at least one night in the country but does not live there for more than 12 months is considered a tourist. Insofar as the survey included the purpose of the trip, business trips and other non-tourism travel purposes have already been excluded. The number of people passing through within the same day, and e.g., crew members of ships or flights are also not considered tourists in most countries. If the same person travels in and out more than once within the same year, each visit counts again.

Data in the chart are given in millions of tourists. The red line represents the average of all 11 countries in Southeast Asia.

Tourists per year in Cambodia

Revenues from tourism

In 1995, tourism revenues amounted to 71.00 million USD, or about 2.1 percent of the gross national product. This corresponded to about 220,000 tourists at that time and roughly 323 USD per person. Within 25 years, the country's dependence on tourism has increased drastically. Before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, sales were $5.31 billion billion, 19.61 percent of gross national product. Thus, each visitor spent an average of $804 on their vacation in Cambodia.

In 2020, tourist receipts plummeted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Of the $5.31 billion billion (2019), only $1.12 billion billion remained. This is a 79 percent decrease in Cambodia.

Tourism receipts in Cambodia per year

All data for Cambodia in detail

YearNumber of touristsReceipts% of GNPReceipts per tourist
20201.31 m1.12 bn $4.3 %857 $
20196.61 m5.31 bn $19.61 %804 $
20186.20 m4.83 bn $19.66 %779 $
20175.60 m4.02 bn $18.14 %718 $
20165.01 m3.52 bn $17.60 %703 $
20154.78 m3.42 bn $18.94 %716 $
20144.50 m3.22 bn $19.28 %715 $
20134.21 m2.90 bn $19.01 %688 $
20123.58 m2.66 bn $18.95 %743 $
20112.88 m2.26 bn $17.60 %783 $
20102.51 m1.67 bn $14.86 %666 $
20092.16 m1.46 bn $14.06 %677 $
20082.13 m1.28 bn $12.36 %602 $
20072.02 m1.17 bn $13.53 %580 $
20061.70 m1.11 bn $15.24 %652 $
20051.42 m929.00 m $14.76 %653 $
20041.06 m673.00 m $12.61 %638 $
2003701,000441.00 m $9.5 %629 $
2002787,000509.00 m $11.88 %647 $
2001605,000429.00 m $10.77 %709 $
2000466,000345.00 m $9.4 %740 $
1999368,000240.00 m $6.8 %652 $
1998287,000129.00 m $4.1 %449 $
1997219,00099.00 m $2.9 %452 $
1996260,000117.00 m $3.3 %450 $
1995220,00071.00 m $2.1 %323 $

Our data on tourist numbers, revenues and expenditures are based on information from the World Tourism Organization. However, to ensure international comparability, the data for some years or countries were manually researched and corrected if they obviously included visitors without overnight stays. In these cases, the data were taken from the official communications of the respective national tourism authorities.

The World Tourism Organization additionally points out that in some countries, the number of tourists is only counted at airports, while in others they are also counted at border crossings or even hotels. A comprehensive and reliable indication is therefore hardly possible in any country.

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