Cambodia’s Tourism to Break a Record in 2024: Implications for Property Investment

beachfront property swimming pool land villa beach

In 2024, Cambodia’s international tourism is set to reach unprecedented heights. It not only revived but also set to break a record. It has already reached the second highest number of Q1 arrivals of all times.

Part 1: Record on The Way

Setting the Stage for Renewal

In 2023, Cambodia’s tourism achieved a higher number of international tourists than 2020 and getting the second highest number of international tourism arrivals in its history. In 2024 it is even higher. Cambodia may break a record of international arrivals. In the dynamic landscape of Southeast Asia, Cambodia stands at the cusp of a tourism renaissance in 2024. See the article on AirAsia’s investment in domestic flights in Cambodia and they launched the first flight in April 2024. Bolstered by recent accolades and strategic governmental initiatives, the Kingdom’s tourism sector embarks on a transformative journey, promising economic revival and global recognition.

1.1: Prime Ministerial Vision: A New Era for Tourism

Under the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Hun Manet, Cambodia’s tourism sector undergoes a paradigm shift in 2024. The Prime Minister’s Sub-Decree on restructuring the Cambodia Tourism Board marks the inception of a more cohesive and strategic approach towards promoting the country’s tourism potential.

Table 1: Key Provisions of the Sub-Decree on Tourism Restructuring

Closer collaboration between public and private sectorsEnhanced coordination for effective promotion and marketing
Strategic partnerships for global outreachStrengthened international presence and brand recognition
Emphasis on sustainable tourismLong-term viability and environmental stewardship

1.2: Economic Significance of Tourism

The economic significance of Cambodia’s tourism sector is underscored by its substantial contribution to the nation’s GDP and employment rates. With a gross revenue of USD $29.5 billion in 2022 (source: World Bank) and sustaining 12.4% of total employment, tourism serves as a cornerstone of the country’s economic framework. It is expected to be over $35bn in 2024.

Cambodia GDP by years
Cambodia GDP by years. Source: World Bank data below. Graph by CeicData

Note: Hover your mouse on the graph to check it by the years (World Bank data)

List 1: Key Economic Indicators of Cambodia’s Tourism Sector

  • Gross revenue:  constantly increasing with acceleration. It is currently over $35bn.
  • Employment contribution: 12.4% of total employment.
  • Projected tourist influx for 2024: 6.6 million foreign tourists, tourist numbers will also increase with an acceleration.

1.3: Tourism Stats Compared by Years

As the calendar flips to 2024, early indicators point towards a promising revival of Cambodia’s tourism sector. January witnesses a robust influx of international visitors, exceeding 540,000 according to Ministry of Tourism stats and also to Naga’s January report of Tourism — a testament to the enduring allure of the Kingdom’s cultural and historical treasures.

In the first Quarter of 2024, Cambodia achieved 1.58M tourists and achieved the second highest numbers of all times. The highest tourism arrivals to Cambodia was in 2019 and reached to 1.87M visitors from all over the world. 2024 occupation rates are higher than 2023; in 2023, it was 76.5%.

Another important stat: Cambodia experienced the longest average days of stays of int. tourists in 2023. It was 7.6 days in 2023 whereas it was just 6.2 days in 2019.

The hotel occupancy rates already break a record and hit 76.5% in the 1st quarter of 2024. It was 63.5% in 2019.

Yet, the average spending of 2019 is still the highest. In 2019, Cambodia generated USD $4.9bn tourism revenue from the international visitors. It was $3.1bn in 2023 and $4.5bn revenue is expected in 2024.

Table 2: International Visitor Arrivals in Cambodia (January 2024)

Cambodia international tourism arrivals by year: This graph shows the recovery well Source

1.4: Strategic Imperatives for Growth

The tourism revival has already been achieved and even got further to hit second highest number of all times and heading to a record. Cambodia had the second highest number of all times concerning international visitors numbers in 2023 and it is increasing further in 2024, going towards breaking the record.

Cambodia international tourism arrivals by years with graph
Cambodia international tourism arrivals by years with graph. Source: Naga’s Tourism Statistics Report Jan 2024

List 2: Strategic Imperatives for Tourism Growth

  • Enhance connectivity through direct flights
  • Forge strategic partnerships with global stakeholders
  • Leverage digital platforms for targeted marketing and promotion
  • Invest in sustainable tourism infrastructure

Harnessing International Recognition

1.5: Global Acclaim and Recognition

International media recognition further amplifies Cambodia’s tourism profile, elevating its status on the global stage. From prestigious accolades such as being named Asia’s Leading Cultural Destination by the World Travel Awards to featuring in TripAdvisor’s Top Ten Trending Destinations, Cambodia’s allure resonates far and wide.

Table 3: International Accolades and Recognition

Asia’s Leading Cultural Destination2024Enhanced cultural appeal and global recognition
TripAdvisor’s Top Ten Trending Destinations (Phnom Penh – Source)2024Increased visibility and tourist interest
World Travel AwardsVariousBenchmark for excellence in tourism and hospitality

1.6: Expanding Aviation Horizons

In the realm of aviation, Cambodia charts a course towards expanded connectivity and accessibility. With the forthcoming Techo Takhmao International Airport slated for operation by 2025, the Kingdom positions itself as a regional hub for air travel. Strategic partnerships with airlines and the launch of new routes unlock new avenues for growth and tourism exchange.

List 3: Key Developments in Cambodia’s Aviation Sector

  • Expansion of airport infrastructure
  • Launch of new routes and partnerships
  • Positioning Cambodia as a regional air travel hub
  • Enhancing connectivity with key global markets

1.7: Investment Opportunities in Tourism

As Cambodia’s tourism narrative unfolds, so too do opportunities for investment in the country’s burgeoning property sector. The convergence of affluent tourists, strategic infrastructure developments, and government incentives creates a fertile ground for property investors seeking long-term growth and returns.

Table 4: Investment Opportunities in Cambodia’s Tourism Sector

Investment OpportunitiesImplications
Luxury resorts and eco-retreatsCatering to high-end travelers seeking exclusive experiences
Sustainable tourism infrastructureAligning with global trends towards eco-friendly travel
Strategic partnerships with developersLeveraging local expertise and market insights for project success

1.8: Looking Ahead

As Cambodia sets its sights on a tourism record in 2024 and beyond, the stage is set for a transformative journey of growth and prosperity. From strategic initiatives to global recognition, the Kingdom emerges as a beacon of opportunity for investors, travelers, and stakeholders alike.

Part 2: Embracing Sustainable Tourism

Navigating the Path to Sustainability

In the pursuit of tourism bloom, Cambodia embraces sustainable practices to safeguard its natural and cultural heritage. From eco-friendly initiatives to community engagement, the Kingdom charts a course towards responsible tourism that balances economic growth with environmental conservation.

Cambodia beach
4K Beach in Koh Rong island

2.1: The Promise of Eco-Tourism

Eco-tourism emerges as a cornerstone of Cambodia’s tourism strategy, offering travelers immersive experiences while preserving the country’s rich biodiversity. From lush rainforests to pristine coastal ecosystems, Cambodia’s natural wonders beckon eco-conscious travelers seeking meaningful connections with nature.

Table 5: Key Eco-Tourism Destinations in Cambodia

DestinationUnique Features
Cardamom MountainsBiodiversity hotspot and habitat for endangered species
Koh Rong ArchipelagoPristine beaches and marine sanctuaries
Mondulkiri ProvinceElephant sanctuaries and indigenous communities
Coral reefs and rich submarine sea creatures fishes plants

2.2: Community Engagement and Empowerment

At the heart of sustainable tourism lies community engagement and empowerment. Cambodia’s tourism sector actively collaborates with local communities to foster economic opportunities and preserve cultural traditions. Through initiatives such as homestays and community-based tourism, travelers gain insights into Cambodia’s rich cultural tapestry while contributing to local livelihoods.

List 4: Community Engagement Initiatives in Cambodia

  • Homestay programs in rural villages
  • Community-led tours and workshops
  • Support for local artisans and cooperatives
  • Preservation of indigenous heritage and traditions

Nurturing Cultural Heritage

2.3: Preserving Cambodia’s Cultural Legacy

As guardians of a rich cultural legacy, Cambodia’s tourism stakeholders undertake initiatives to preserve and promote the country’s cultural heritage. From ancient temples to traditional arts and crafts, Cambodia’s cultural tapestry offers a glimpse into the nation’s storied past and vibrant present.

Table 6: Cultural Heritage Sites in Cambodia

SiteUnique Features
Angkor Archaeological ParkUNESCO World Heritage Site (see) and architectural marvel
Royal Palace, Phnom PenhIconic symbol of Cambodian monarchy and cultural heritage
Battambang ProvinceArtistic hub known for traditional Khmer performances
sunrise at Angkor Wat
Magnificent Sunrise at Angkor Wat

2.4: Heritage Conservation and Tourism

Heritage conservation emerges as a linchpin of Cambodia’s tourism strategy, ensuring the preservation of iconic landmarks for future generations. Through initiatives such as restoration projects and cultural festivals, Cambodia celebrates its rich heritage while promoting sustainable tourism practices.

List 5: Heritage Conservation Initiatives

  • Restoration and preservation of cultural sites
  • Cultural festivals showcasing traditional arts and performances
  • Heritage education programs for local communities and visitors
  • Collaboration with international organizations for heritage conservation

2.5: Sustainable Tourism Certification

In a bid to formalize its commitment to sustainability, Cambodia embraces sustainable tourism certification programs. These initiatives provide travelers with assurance of responsible practices while incentivizing tourism operators to adopt environmentally friendly policies.

Table 7: Sustainable Tourism Certification Programs

Certification ProgramKey Criteria
Green GlobeEnvironmental management, social responsibility
TravelifeSustainable business practices, community engagement
EarthCheckResource efficiency, cultural heritage preservation

A Blueprint for Sustainable Growth

2.6: Towards a Sustainable Future

As Cambodia navigates the path towards sustainable tourism, the Kingdom sets its sights on a future where economic growth coexists harmoniously with environmental conservation and cultural preservation. Through collaborative efforts and visionary leadership, Cambodia emerges as a model for responsible tourism practices on the global stage.

2.7: Engaging Stakeholders for Change

The journey towards sustainability requires the collective effort of government agencies, tourism operators, local communities, and travelers alike. By fostering dialogue and collaboration among stakeholders, Cambodia creates a conducive environment for sustainable tourism to thrive.

2.8: Looking Ahead

As Cambodia embraces sustainable tourism as a guiding principle, the Kingdom lays the foundation for a future where tourism serves as a catalyst for positive change. From pristine natural landscapes to vibrant cultural traditions, Cambodia’s allure as a sustainable travel destination shines brightly on the global stage.

Part 3: Unleashing Property Investment Potential

Capitalizing on Tourism Resurgence

As Cambodia’s tourism sector undergoes a renaissance, the country’s property market emerges as a prime investment destination. With a burgeoning influx of tourists, strategic infrastructure developments, and government incentives, the Kingdom offers a fertile ground for property investors seeking long-term growth and returns.

3.1: Tourism-Driven Property Demand

The resurgence of Cambodia’s tourism sector fuels robust demand for property investments, particularly in key tourist destinations. From boutique hotels to luxury resorts, investors capitalize on the influx of affluent travelers seeking premium accommodation options.

Table 8: Property Investment Opportunities in Cambodia

Investment OpportunitiesImplications
Boutique hotels and resortsCatering to high-end travelers seeking unique and immersive experiences
Condominium and villasMeeting the demand for upscale accommodation options
Commercial properties and retailCapitalizing on the growth of tourism-related businesses and services
Industrial propertiesCambodia is to become a major production hub. Many foreigner companies transported their production to Cambodia due to cost efficiency.

3.2: Strategic Infrastructure Developments

Strategic infrastructure developments, such as the Techo Takhmao International Airport and expanded aviation routes, bolster Cambodia’s appeal as a regional tourism hub. These developments not only enhance connectivity but also stimulate property investment opportunities in emerging tourism hotspots.

Foreigners can invest directly to condominiums over the first floor. There are also legal and secure ways of owning a land (6 methods). We wrote detailed legal guide on foreigners and property ownership in Cambodia. A 6 minutes read and you’ll understand everything concerning landed property ownership in Cambodia which will open you the doors of the highest ROI on sale property.

List 6: Key Infrastructure Developments Driving Property Investment

  • Techo Takhmao International Airport: Opening doors to new tourism markets
  • Expanded aviation routes: Facilitating easier access to key tourist destinations
  • Port expansions and cruise ship terminals: Fostering aquatic tourism and coastal property development

Investment Strategies for Success

3.3: Diversification and Risk Mitigation

Successful property investment in Cambodia’s tourism sector hinges on diversification and risk mitigation strategies. Investors seek a balanced portfolio of properties across different asset classes and geographical locations, thereby minimizing exposure to market volatility and regulatory risks.

3.4: Long-Term Vision and Sustainability

Long-term vision and sustainability form the cornerstone of successful property investment in Cambodia. Investors prioritize projects aligned with sustainable tourism principles, fostering environmental conservation and community engagement for enduring growth and prosperity.

Sustainable Property Investment Criteria

Environmental impactMinimizing ecological footprint and resource consumption
Social responsibilitySupporting local communities and cultural preservation
Economic viabilityEnsuring long-term profitability and asset appreciation

3.5: Strategic Partnerships and Local Expertise

Strategic partnerships with local developers and industry experts provide investors with invaluable insights and market intelligence. By leveraging local expertise and networks, investors navigate regulatory complexities and cultural nuances for successful property ventures.

Key Considerations for Property Investment Partnerships

  • Alignment of investment goals and vision
  • Transparent communication and trust
  • Legal compliance and regulatory adherence
  • Flexibility and adaptability to market dynamics

3.6: Seizing Opportunities in Cambodia’s Tourism Boom

As Cambodia’s tourism sector experiences a rapid increase in 2024, the country’s property market emerges as a prime investment frontier. By capitalizing on strategic infrastructure developments, embracing sustainability principles, and fostering strategic partnerships, investors unlock a wealth of opportunities in Cambodia’s thriving tourism landscape.

3.7: Looking Ahead

As Cambodia’s tourism and property sectors continue to evolve, the future holds immense promise for investors with a keen eye for opportunity and innovation. By embracing sustainable practices and strategic foresight, investors pave the way for a future where tourism serves as a catalyst for economic growth, environmental conservation, and social development.

Compare listings