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Hotel explosion in ministry

D URING the next 18 months, Siem Reap will likely be getting an explosion of new hotel

rooms if the government signs two more hotel contracts as expected next week.

Minister of Tourism Veng Sereyvuth said he expects contracts with Le Meridien and

Four Seasons to be formally announced Nov 7 along with the unveiling of a master

plan for tourism in Siem Reap and a sound and light project.

"We are moving. Everything is on the move," said Veng.

He said Le Meridien was interested in building a 200 room hotel in an initial phase,

with the possibility of expansion to 400 rooms later on. The size of the Four Seasons

project was not disclosed. "The negotiations are not yet finished," said

a spokesman for the Ministry of Tourism.

In addition, Accor Asia -Pacific, the operator of the Sofitel Cambodiana in Phnom

Penh, also has plans for a $15 million hotel in Siem Reap with 150 rooms. That deal

has been made with a private landowner and thus doesnít require a government

contract, according to the tourism official.

Neither of the two hotels under discussion will be located within the new hotel zone

recently established in Siem Reap. Both Le Meridien and Four Seasons are looking

at sites near the famed Grand Hotel díAngkor, which is to be renovated by

Raffles International. The hotel zone is located a few kilometers away from Siem

Reap's downtown.

If all the hotels now being talked about are built, Siem Reapís hotel space

would about double by the end of 1987. Some say itís a gamble whether tourism

can keep pace. Siem Reap now has about 600 hotel rooms, plus a couple hundred informal

guest house rooms, and gets abou

But as Veng Sereyvuth put it, the government believes that "it's a question

of expanding as much as you can."

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