Charmed by the legendary Angkor Wat, Hong Kong holiday-makers are increasingly heading to Cambodia in search of new, exotic destinations. Tourism is flourishing in the former French colony. Hoteliers, travel agencies and airline operators are stepping up their efforts to attract travellers and explore the opportunities arising from the upsurge. President Airlines recently joined the fray by launching direct flights between Hong Kong and Cambodia. The airline's marketing manager, Kelvin Ng, said Cambodia was receiving more visitors from around the world. 'We have seen a very large group of Asians such as Japanese and Korean visitors there already,' he said. 'With the completion of several five-star hotels in Cambodia this year, coupled with the country's well-established tourism infrastructure, we are expecting a rise in the number of Hong Kong visitors.' The Cambodia-based airline introduced flights between Hong Kong and Phnom Penh last March, followed by another route between Hong Kong and Siem Reap just last month. 'Hong Kong people are receptive to innovative ideas, and always on the quest for new destinations, making the city [Hong Kong] a perfect place to launch our new services,' Mr Ng said. 'Hong Kong is such an international city that we are sure the demand for our air services will also come from foreigners and expatriates who live or work here.' Mr Ng said Phnom Penh was more than a tourism spot. 'Many Chinese go to the capital city regularly to take care of business there. Most of them are in the garment and shoe-manufacturing industries. Company executives handling quality control in the factories are frequent travellers, too. 'Siem Reap town is where visitors will stay during their visit to Angkor.' Nestled among rice fields and stretched along the Siem Reap River, the town offers dozens of luxurious hotels and budget guest houses, as well as a range of restaurants, pubs and shops. The airline is offering special promotions to celebrate the launch of its services between Hong Kong and Siem Reap. The new route runs twice a week, creating a link between Hong Kong and the city nearest to Angkor Wat, the millennium-old temple ruins of the Khmer Empire. Passengers will pay a single ticket price of just $3,000 to get return tickets for two to Siem Reap under the promotion, which runs until the end of the month. 'The two new routings complement each other very well and allow visitors to experience Cambodia to its fullest,' Mr Ng said. 'Visitors may choose to enter the country through Siem Reap and leave from Phnom Penh, or vice versa, giving them more flexible travel plans.' 'In fact, Angkor Wat is only the beginning, Cambodia has much more to offer for travellers. The Angkor Archaeological Park, a world heritage site designated by Unesco [United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation], alone will require at least three days to visit all of its major temples.' For the ambitious, there are a lot of side trips to consider. The Tonle Sap Lake, 30 minutes south of Siem Reap, makes a nice day excursion to relax after a few days' exploration in history and heritage. It is one of the largest freshwater lakes in the world, and visitors can fish or take a boat trip to see rural Cambodia. A trip would not be complete without an exploration of the past culture of Phnom Penh, Mr Ng said. If you have a few more days to spare, the southern part of the country, sprinkled with stretches of unspoiled beaches, is a lovely retreat away from the hustle and bustle of city life. 'Besides the beautiful sun and sea, there are great choices of scrumptious, fresh seafood to tempt your appetite,' he said. Also confident of the potential for tourism in Indochina, P&O Travel began developing its Indochina tours about three years ago. 'There is already an extensive range of new tourism infrastructure in Indochina, making the region a preferred travel destination with good growth potential,' said Richard Willis, the company's managing director. Noting the launch of President Airlines' direct flights between Hong Kong and Siem Reap, Mr Willis said the expansion of air routes to Cambodia would further boost tourism. 'It will arouse more awareness of the region and attract more businessmen to invest in infrastructure there,' Mr Willis said, adding that most Hong Kong visitors to Cambodia still preferred group tours to independent travelling as the country was a new destination for them. P&O has a few packages combining flights, luxury accommodation and its travel expertise for those keen on experiencing the country. The price of a four-day direct flight tour to Siem Reap, including visits to the Angkor ruins, starts at $3,998. There is also a six-day sumptuous dining tour to Angkor Wat and Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam, a deluxe four-day tour to Phnom Penh and Angkor Wat, and air plus hotel packages to choose from. Hong Kong people were mature travellers, having been exposed to various travel and leisure activities worldwide for more than 30 years, Mr Willis said. He said P&O continuously had to add value to its services and prepare more innovative products to cope with the needs of Hong Kong travellers.