Preah Vihear sees unexpected rise in foreign tourists

Preah Vihear sees unexpected rise in foreign tourists

The disputed Cambodian temple of Preah Vihear, which has been at the centre of border clashes with Thailand, has seen a sharp and unexpected rise in tourist numbers. Preah Vihear Provincial Tourism Department said that foreign visitors to the northern Cambodian temple complex more than doubled in the first six months of the year, to 1,095. Improved infrastructure links to the remote temple were cited as a factor behind the rise. Overall visitor numbers to the site declined however, as Cambodians stayed away. The temple complex has been visited by 27,980 tourists in the first six months of 2011 – a 40% year-on-year decline. Preah Vihear was named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2008, but the decision has led to increased violence between Cambodian and Thailand, due to a decades-old border dispute.

Mark Elliott
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Mark Elliott
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