More than 100 Cambodian and Chinese tour operators met here Wednesday afternoon to explore opportunities for business partnership, officials said.

Speaking at the business matching forum between tour operators of the two countries, So Visothy, undersecretary of state at Cambodia's Ministry of Tourism, said the forum brought together 65 Cambodian and 50 Chinese tour operators.

"The forum is part of the activities that the countries organize to celebrate the China-Cambodia Culture and Tourism Year 2019," he said.

He said China is a huge market for Cambodian tourism and that the kingdom is expected to attract 2.6 million Chinese tourists this year and up to 3 million next year.

According to Visothy, Cambodia received 6.2 million foreign tourists last year, including 2 million Chinese, earning gross revenue of 4.35 billion U.S. dollars.

"China is the biggest source of foreign tourists to Cambodia," he said.

He added that currently, 25 airlines have been operating 636 direct flights per week between Cambodian cities and Chinese cities.

Chhay Sivlin, president of the Cambodia Association of Travel Agents, said the forum marked another milestone of strong cooperation between Cambodia and China in tourism industry.

"For today's event, I personally believe that it will broaden the knowledge of all attending tour operators in order to bring the best experience for customers and get to know more about the hidden charms of both Cambodia and China," she said.

Ith Sarin, general manager of DCK Travel & Tours Co., Ltd, said the forum was a good chance for tour operators of the two countries to seek business opportunities.

"It is a platform for us to share tourism potential in each country and explore opportunities for business partnership," he said to Xinhua.

Source: China � ASEAN Business Council