Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen said Tuesday that tourism is a locomotive for economic growth in his country and vowed to accelerate it as one of the world's most wanted tourism sites.
Giving his speech at the inauguration of Cambodia-South Korea Center for Culture, Tourism and Trading in Phnom Penh, Hun Sen said the tourism has become a priority sector for economic policy and is a locomotive for sustainable socio-economic development of Cambodia.
"Cambodia is in a process to develop itself into a cultural, social and natural tourism center in Southeast Asia where is considered the most developed tourism in the world today," he said.
He added that the political and social stability and peace being enjoyed by Cambodia people and the country are one of the factors that attract more tourists to this country.
He said in 2008, there were 2.1 million foreign tourists visited Cambodia, an increase of 5.5 percent compared to a year earlier, and within 11 months in 2009, there were 1.9 million, an increase of 1.6 percent if compared to that in 2008.
While the number of foreign tourists visiting Cambodia on gradually increased on yearly basis, Hun Sen was also satisfied with the figure that showed 6.7 million local tourists traveled around the country in 2008.
Hun Sen noted that in 2004, Cambodia earned only 578 million U. S. dollars, but it earned as much as 1.5 billion U.S. dollars in 2008, and employed more than 30,000 Cambodians.
Cambodia's Angkor Wat Temple, built between 9th to 12th century- - is one of the world's famous tourist sites. Angkor Wat Temple was registered as the world heritage site.