PHNOM PENH, July 16 (Xinhua) -- Some 1.06 million foreign tourists had visited Cambodia's Angkor Wat temples, one of the World Heritage Sites, during the first six months of this year, a 35 percent increase compared with the same period last year, the report of Siem Reap provincial tourism department showed Monday.
The top three countries visiting the temples are South Korea, Vietnam and China.
During the January to June period this year, some 190,400 South Koreans visited the temples, up 49 percent; 127,890 Vietnamese, up 12 percent; and 78,430 Chinese, up 51 percent.
The report also recorded a sharp rise of Thai tourists to the temples. Some 61,340 Thais went to the temples during the period, up 201 percent.
Chhoeuy Chhorn, administration chief of Siem Reap provincial tourism department, said Monday that South Korean and Chinese visitors to the temples have seen steady and sharp growth in recent years thanks to more direct flight connections.
He added that the sharp rise in Thai tourists to the temples was due to the fugitive former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra celebrated the New Year in Siem Reap province in April and over 50,000 of his supporters visited him and took chance to see the temples.
Siem Reap's Angkor archeological park is the country's largest cultural tourism destination. It is located some 315 kilometers northwest of Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia.
An entrance fee to visit the temples is 20 U.S. dollars a day for a foreign visitor, 40 U.S. dollars for a three-day visit and 60 U.S. dollars for a weeklong visit.
Last year, the temples attracted 1.6 million foreign visitors, an increase of 23 percent.
The tourism industry is one of the main four pillars supporting the Cambodian economy. The others are garment industry, agriculture and real estates.