Hanoi, Vietnam -- (SBWIRE) -- 09/10/2013 -- It looks as though there is soon to be a huge increase in the amount of air traffic in and out of Cambodia’s Siem Reap International Airport. The City is of course home to Angkor Wat and many other famous Angkorian temples of note. This has been a popular destination for tourists for many a year. Until now the airport has been restricted as to which airlines have been allowed in. It now looks like this restrictions are finally being lifted and the flights from Bangkok will no longer run the expensive monopoly that they formerly enjoyed.
On recent months airlines have been queuing up to try and get landing slots and it looks as though they have succeeded. Korea’s Air Busan, a subsidiary of Asiana Airlines plans daily flights between Korea’s second city, Busan and Siem Reap. Traffic rights have been applied for. Scheduled Carrier services between Shanghai and the city are being lodged by Chinese carrier, Juneyao Airlines. These private carriers will be joined by National giant Air Chin who have announced direct flights from Beijing in November.
The Cathay subsidiary Dragonair commences flights from Hong Kong on October 29 offering three flights per week in the high season. The Bangkok domination by Bangkok Airways has been broken with the announcement of flights by Thai AirAsia on October 1. Singapore, of course, having already announced an increase in flights up to eleven per week.
All this of course is fantastic news for the city of Siem Reap and the Angkor temples. Already pulling millions of visitors it is thought that numbers will increase significantly over the coming months. Siem Reap already enjoys a vibrant tourism industry. Its bars and restaurants do good business especially in the high season. Pub Street and the surrounding alleyways and passages are generally full anyway. It is thought though, that this will increase business in a huge way. New hotels are being built on the road in from the Airport and many local business are expected a boom in business.
Travel big hitters, Asia Tour Advisor are in agreement with the optimism shown by local business. Their CEO Mr Tran Truong said, “ Siem Reap is one of our most popular destinations. However the one complaint keeps coming back to us. People complain about the prices of air travel into the city. The limited flights from Bangkok were among the most expensive per mile in the world. Finally it looks as though this monopoly has been broken. We are expected a huge increase in tourist numbers into the whole region.”
Local Cambodian airlines are getting in on the act as well. Wat Phnom Airline announced flights between Taipei and Siem and Reap, last month. Cambodia Angkor Air are flying from Phnom Penh five times per day. In the first six months of this year passenger numbers at Siem Reap were up 22% at 1.5 million. In July alone the airport handled 170,000 people, up 18% on the previous year.
Things are certainly looking good for this sleepy northern provincial city.
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