A report issued by Cambodia’s Ministry of Tourism has revealed a 72% decline in foreign visitor arrivals for the first eight months of 2020, including an 83% fall in visitors from mainland China.
Cambodia welcomed just 1.22 million visitors between January and August, down from 4.36 million over the same period in 2019, while those from the country’s primary tourism source of China dropped from 1.7 million last year to 292,303.
Arrivals from neighboring Vietnam fell 68% to 180,095 and from Thailand by 22% to 182,501.
In August alone, total visitor arrivals dropped 95.5% to 23,028.
According to Tourism Minister Thong Khon, Cambodia expects to lose around US$3 billion in tourism revenue in 2020, having reported revenue of US$4.9 billion from 6.6 million foreign visitors last year.
The decline in visitation has had a major impact on Cambodia’s casino industry, with 30 casinos in Sihanoukville having either closed their doors completely or suspended all staff in 2020 due to COVID-19 and the impact of Cambodia’s online gaming ban. Another 33 have temporarily suspended staff.
Less impacted has been NagaWorld, which recently revealed that its mass market gaming tables had returned to 88% of the daily gross gaming revenues recorded pre-closure, aided by Chinese expats living in Phnom Penh.