THE developer behind a US$6 million tourism development in Mondulkiri province says it is aiming to finish the project a year earlier than initially planned to take advantage of rising tourism arrivals in the area.
Ngin Sroeun, deputy director general of Cambodian infrastructure group Sar Lar Co, said construction of the resort, which is being built around the province’s Boo Sra waterfall, was behind schedule, but that efforts would be redoubled at the end of the rainy season to finish the project ahead of the original 2013 end date.
“Due to the tourism potential in the province and the shortage of modern accommodation, we will push the project to finish a year ahead of schedule,” he said.
Construction began on the 60-hectare development, which is being billed as an eco-tourism destination, last December.
The company has a 99-year lease on the site from the government.
Ngin Sroeun said the construction of stairs up the side of the waterfall was almost complete, and that work on accommodation, restaurants and retail shops featuring souvenirs from local ethnic minorities would soon commence.
Mondulkiri Tourism Department head Ngin Sovimean confirmed construction had begun on the site but expressed concerns about lack of progress. “Since the start of construction, our inspections show that development is going a little bit slow,” he said. “So far, only the gardens and the stairs down to the waterfall from the top are under construction. However, I think that the company is committed to fulfilling this project.”
The province currently has only two hotels and 21 guesthouses, Ngin Sovimean said, leading to a shortage of decent accommodation and dining options for tourists in the province.
Tourist numbers grew 25 percent year-on-year in the first eight months of the year to 16,000 due to better road conditions and promotion efforts, he added.
“We expect that when this eco-tourism project is finished, it will meet tourist demand for accommodation and will be of great benefit to the indigenous people in the area,” he said.