Local Cambodian media reported on a number of new tourism development plans and initiatives this week for Kampot, Sihanoukville and mountainous heritage sites in Battambang.
There are plans to build a Renewable Energy Museum and the Samdech Hun Sen National Park in Kampot to attract more tourists to the province reports the Phnom Penh Post.
Kampot provincial governor Cheav Tay that the plan to construct the museum and park is in line with a government sub-decree and that the Electricite Du Cambodge (EDC) is the project operator.
EDC director-general Keo Ratanak said the museum would show off Cambodia’s electricity-producing sources such as hydropower, solar and coal power.
The new Kampot tourism seaport, which is currently under construction should be finished by mid-2020 and the Cambodian government hopes the port will contribute as a gateway for tourists to travel to the province.
In 2019, Kampot had about 1.6 million local and international tourists.
We are not sure how appealing the museum would be to local or international tourists, however, a national park with trails and eco-tourism could be beneficial.
Sihanoukville Beach – Masterplan
Following the news that the Cambodian Ministry of Tourism is developing its Kep tourism masterplan to be submitted in 2020, the Preah Sihanouk provincial authority also establishing a master plan to develop the Sihanoukville Beach.
The Khmer Times reports that the masterplan for the Sihanoukville beaches will include the stretch of coastline from Sihanoukville Autonomous Port to a new area called “Chumteav Mao or Madam Mao Beach”.
Taing Sochet Krisna, the Preah Sihanouk provincial tourism director, said “We are studying the infrastructure such as roads, restrooms, parking, parks and volleyball courts on the beach among other facilities. Once we finish the study, we will send the plan to the Preah Sihanouk Provincial Council, and the National Committee for Coastal Management and Development of the Cambodian coastal area (NCDD) to approve.”
Sihanoukville Governor Khouch Chamroeun also addressed the concern over the huge development projects along the beaches saying that “When we lose the beach, we will lose the tourists.”
Mountainous heritage sites in Cambodia
The Cambodian government has designated nearly 3,500 hectares of forest land in Battambang and Banteay Meanchey provinces as natural heritage sites according to the Khmer Times.
The Cambodian Prime Minister, Hun Sen, signed 9 sub-decrees on May 25th 2020 which included three newly designated natural heritage sites in Battambang.
- Prampi Mountain: (353.9 hectares) in Phnom Proek district
- Ratanak Mondul district’s Teak Traing Mountain: (79.82 hectares)
- Kiriyong Mountain: (984.31 hectares)
In addition, 6 locations from Banteay Meanchey were listed:
- Phnom Preah-Phnom Veng (1,500 hectares) in Thmar Puok district
- Serei Saophorn city’s Svay Mountain (16 hectares)
- Bak Mountain (36 hectares)
- Chunh Chaing Mountain (19 hectares)
- Preah Netr Preah Mountain (13 hectares) in Preah Netr Preah district
- Malai district’s Yey Som Mountain (416 hectares)
The Cambodian Ministry of Environment said it is “currently overseeing the management of more than 60 protected and biodiversity conservation areas, which cover more than 7.2 million hectares, equivalent to about 41% of the total land area in the country.”
An estimated 6.7 million tourists visited the Kingdom of Cambodia in 2019 while the number of foreign visitors to Cambodia was 1.15 million in 2020 in the first quarter, drastically down due to COVID-19.