Cambodia Named Best Destination for Beauty, Safety

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A tourism trade group in Europe has named Cambodia this year’s Best Tourist Destination, citing the country’s natural beauty and excellent safety.

“Cambodia is a perfectly safe and outstanding destination that will forever mark your heart,” Anton Caragea, president of the Bucharest-based European Council on Tourism and Trade (ECTT), is quoted as saying in a report from the Indo-Asian News Service.

Made up of 27 European tourism unions, the council saved special praise for Siem Reap’s “unique Angkor Archaeological Park.”

But while the council encourages tourists to “Travel Safe! Travel Informed!” Cambodian authorities have acknowledged that foreign tourists are too often targets of crime in the country.

Petty theft has long plagued popular tourist destinations such as Phnom Penh, Siem Reap City and Sihanoukville, and both expatriates and tourists have also been the victims of violent crime including shootings, stabbings, rapes and murders in recent years.

Yet the country has been steadily climbing in various tourism rankings, with Angkor Wat named as the world’s top tourist destination in Lonely Planet’s Ultimate Travelist 2015.