Thanks to improving connectivity and infrastructure, Cambodia is no longer just an add-on for Thailand and Vietnam.
No longer just an add-on destination for neighbouring countries like Thailand and Vietnam, Cambodia is now showing signs of becoming a place for Europeans to visit in its own right, TTG Asia reports.
Usually seen as part of a multi-destination trip, Cambodia’s range of tourism products is growing, its infrastructure improving and marketing raising its appeal among Europeans.
Europe’s growing appetite for off-the-beaten-track holidays is contributing to the trend, tour operators say.
“We can see Europeans are seeking immersive, authentic destinations for extended visits and Cambodia is ideal for these sorts of tours,” Steve Lidgey, manager at Travel Asia a la Carte, explains.
“Once guests leave Siem Reap and Phnom Penh, it’s hard to meet large numbers of tourists, which ensures interaction with local people and surprises along the way.”
Recent openings include private islands off the Sihanoukville coast and there is ongoing development on the islands of Koh Rong and Koh Rong Sanloem, improving access to areas known for their nature and sustainable tourism.
“New luxury offerings on the islands will generate strong interest from the European region, playing an important role in stimulating growth and extending stays,” thinks Charles-Henri Chevet, area general manager at Sofitel Phokeethra Hotels.
Increased connectivity – such as flights from Emirates and Qatar Airways and links with major hubs like Bangkok and Singapore – is adding to the trend.
“Most potential guests probably have only heard of Siem Reap and Phnom Penh. The more they see other destinations featured, the more they can join the dots and do a round trip of Cambodia as a single destination,” concludes Lidgey.