Vol. VII No. 6 - Tuesday
February 5, - February 11, 2008



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by Saichon Paewsoongnern


BUSINESS & TRAVEL
HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Sokha catches Cambodian boom

Sokha catches Cambodian boom

Sirima Eamtako
(TTG Asia)

The high-profile groundbreaking ceremony of the 33km road link to the top of Bokor Mountain in Cambodia’s south-western coastal province of Kampot, presided over last week by Prime Minister Hun Sen, is paving the way for the development of the country’s newest tourism destination.
Sokha Hotels and Resorts, the hotel investment and management arm of Cambodia’s petroleum giant Sokimex, is developing a US$1 billion mixed-use project, including an 800-room five-star casino hotel, theme park, shopping mall, residential complexes, restaurants and community facilities and infrastructure. Bokor Mountain Resort is set on a 2,500-hectare area atop Bokor Mountain in Bokor Resort town in Kampot, located 148km south of Phnom Penh near the south-western coastal provinces of Sihanoukville and Koh Kong. The general manager of the group, Bobby Toh, explained that in the past the area was popular with tourists, especially Europeans. However, as a result of the war, the resort and its 20 French colonial-style buildings were in ruins and the road was damaged. “With Cambodia now enjoying a tourism boom with the country hitting the two-million-arrival mark for the first time last year, and good annual arrivals anticipated, now is the time to start redeveloping this once popular destination.” , he added.
Bobby’s plan is to develop the area into a world-class tourist attraction and lifestyle city.
Construction of the five-star casino hotel and theme park, and the restoration of the 20 French colonial-style buildings into restaurants and mid-range accommodation, is scheduled to begin once the US$20-million road reconstruction programme is completed, hopefully within the next 30 months. The hotel and tourism related projects themselves are scheduled to be completed by around mid-2012. The entire project, which will also involve all related road works, a water supply station, water treatment systems, vegetable farms, fruit orchards, a hospital and a school, is expected to be completed in phases within the next 15 years.



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