PHNOM PENH, Aug. 11 (FN) — Cambodia welcomed 2.36 million foreign tourists in the first half of 2016, up 2.6 percent from 2. 3 million over the same period last year, according to a tourism data released on Thursday.

During the January-June period this year, Vietnam topped the chart among the top 10 arrivals to Cambodia with 461,760 tourists,  down 4.5 percent, followed by China with 378,740 tourists, up 13 percent, and South Korean visitors at third with 193,000, down 15 percent.

Kong Sopheareak, director of the Tourism Ministry's statistics and planning department, said recently that Cambodia-China excellent relations and Cambodia's attractive tourism sites are key factors to lure more Chinese tourists.

"In my view, China will overtake Vietnam in one or two years to become the first largest source of tourists to Cambodia," he said.

The Southeast Asian country is famous for two cultural sites in the UNESCO's World Heritage List. One is the 12th century Angkor archeological park and the other is the 11th century Preah Vihear Temple.

Tourism is one of the four pillars supporting the economy. Last year, the country attracted 4.78 million international tourists, generating a gross revenue of more than 3 billion U.S. dollars.