KAMPOT, Cambodia, 11 March 2019: Japanese investors are interested in building a villa resort for Japanese retirees on an estuary island just south of Kampot town.
The site is close to Wat Traeuy Kaoh where the River Kampong splits to form an estuary just a few km south of the town centre.
A report in Khmer Times, last week, suggested the province’s governor supports the project. He told the newspaper he wanted to “see more projects in the hospitality sector to meet rising demand from tourists.”
But officials said they lacked any details of the investment plans, or even a timeframe when construction was likely to begin.
Local sources in Kampot said the investors were probably keen to tap Cambodia’s growing retiree market.
The country was recognised as Asia’s most affordable destination for retirees and Kampot is already a popular town that attracts seniors from Europe due to its laid-back character, a lively riverside restaurant and pub scene as well as its heritage buildings dating back to the colonial era under French rule. The town is also a candidate for UNESCO World Heritage listing a process that usually takes around three to five years to complete.
Town officials said they were keen to attract more Japanese visitors to Kampot, which is an ideal home base to explore coastal attractions and even cross the border to neighbouring Vietnam to visit the popular resort island of Phu Quoc.
Kampot city – together with Battambang, Sihanoukville, Siem Reap, Kep, Kampong Cham, and Doun Penh all gained top recognition in the National Clean City Contest last month.
In 2018, Kampot province welcomed around 1.6 million tourists, but just 10% were foreign nationals. Visitors to Cambodia’s coastal resorts usually stay in Sihanoukville where the country’s third international gateway airport is located. The 90-km transfer from the airport to Kampot town takes around two hours and 15 minutes via highways 4 and 3.