Sihanoukville’s tourism shapes up

SIHANOUKVILLE, 30 March 2017: Sihanoukville’s provincial tourism department reports nearly 2.4 million local and international tourists travelled to the seaside destination last year generating an estimated USD96 million in revenue.

Phnom Penh Post quoted the department’s marketing and promotions deputy director, May Nimol, saying arrivals to the coastal province grew by 37% last year compared to 2015.

The growth was driven by a sharp increase in domestic tourists, with visits from other Cambodian provinces surging 45% last year to reach 1,974,631.

International tourist arrivals also increased 12%, last year, to reach 404,939, led by visitors from China, Russia and Vietnam, he said.

“The local tourism department will create more entertainment for tourists to increase ways for people to enjoy their holidays in the province.”

He added: “We are trying to cooperate with relevant authorities to promote and improve the entertainment standards and attract more tourists.”

The seaside town has more than 17 casinos and its streets are packed with restaurants and pubs. There are six beaches close by that also have entertainment mainly beachside seafood restaurants and bars.

Asian Development Bank is reportedly funding a study on the development of tourism in Sihanoukville province for Cambodia’s Ministry of Tourism.

The project will study how to attract more tourists, improve access, introduce capacity management and encourage protection of the environment especially marine and beach assets.

The study will focus on sustainable development of tourism and infrastructure in Sihanoukville, including Koh Rong.

In particular it will look at keeping beaches clean and preventing dirty water from flowing into the sea from Ochheuteal and Otres beaches and at Koh Rong.

The tourism ministry forecasts Sihanoukville will attract 2 million local tourists and 1 million international tourists by 2020.

Sihanoukville is a coastal province in Cambodia and home to the country’s main port on the Gulf of Thailand..