Arriving in Cambodia in March, Pascal Deyrolle became vice president of
the nation's hotel association in July. He's moving fast to carry out
some big plans
Pascal Deyrolle, general manager of La Residence d’Angkor and vice president of the Cambodian Hotel Association.
WATER conservation and cheaper energy
costs in Siem Reap are at the head of the wish list of the new vice
president of the Cambodia Hotel Association, Pascal Deyrolle.
Deyrolle is also general manager of Siem Reap's La Residence d'Angkor,
and his rise has been rapid. He only arrived in Cambodia on March 19
from France, where he managed luxury canal barges.
Four months to the day after his arrival, he was elected to the vice
presidency of the Cambodia Hotel Association, with Luu Meng, general
manager of Phnom Penh's new Almond Hotel, as president.
Deyrolle is joined on the board by fellow Siem Reap hoteliers, the
general managers of Raffles Grand D'Angkor, the Sofitel Phokeethra, and
the Victoria Angkor. He also has the ear of the outgoing association
president, Philip Set Kao of Borei Angkor Resort and Spa.
But while new to Siem Reap, Deyrolle is savvy to the looming issues of the day, particularly water conservation.
At the 17th technical meeting of the International Coordinating
Committee of Angkor, held at the Sokha Hotel on June 4-5, there was
agreement among the delegates to begin a push to persuade major Siem
Reap hoteliers to contribute to measures to conserve the province's
dwindling water supply. In particular, the delegates agreed, the hotels
needed to be urged to spend the capital required to install water
Deyrolle has already begun meetings to address the issue.
"I'm talking to a company about dirty water recycling projects. I want
to obtain figures about return on investment to see whether it's
feasible for this hotel to have its own plant that can recycle water
for gardening." he said.
Everybody, not just the five-stars, should be represented by the association.
"I'll be using La Residence as a sample hotel to assess the figures to
determine whether such a project is also feasible for a range of other
Deyrolle's other agenda item is energy costs, and there's a touch of
irony in this. While most businesses bitch about the high cost of
Cambodian electricity, Deyrolle hopes many hotels will soon be able to
save money by getting onto the supply grid for that very same expensive
Many hotels aren't hooked up to the power grid and have to supply their
electricity through fuel-driven generators at high costs that are
"Yes, the electricity here in Cambodia is expensive," Deyrolle said.
"But it's still 45 percent cheaper than buying fuel to run generators.
And the price of fuel here went up by 107 percent per litre between
January and May. So automatically, your hotel energy costs are very,
very high if you use generators.
"The reality is that your hotel is going to have a 45 percent energy
cost saving if you can move onto electricity, and my wish is for all
the hotels here in Siem Reap to be able to get plugged in.
"Some hotels are still forced to work generators because they don't
have the choice. They can't afford to make the capital investment
required to build a substation for their hotel."
Deyrolle has also initiated action on this front by negotiating with
banks about what sort of loans are available and exploring whether it
is possible for smaller hotels to pool their capital.
"If we can organise the smaller hotel companies and put them in a pool
for one district, then all hotels in that district will be able to
connect to substations to get electricity."
And, by pushing the association to adopt such pragmatic, cost-saving,
bottom-line initiatives, he hopes to encourage more to join the
Membership of the Cambodia Hotel Association, founded in 2005, is small
- fewer than 10 percent of hotels have joined. The association has only
30 member hotels out of an estimated 400-plus Cambodian hotels and
Deyrolle said, "That's my first goal. To have everybody engaged, as
many businesses as possible. Everybody, not just the five-stars, should
be represented by the association."
Former association president Philip Set Kao endorsed Pascal Deyrolle
push to boost membership, pointing out that hotels needed to realise
the importance of having an effective lobby group.
The rainy season
He also hoped Deyrolle would continue his campaign to diversify Siem
Reap tourism. Many Siem Reap hotels enjoy 90 percent occupancy during
the peak season from November through to early February but are
virtually empty for the rest of the year.
He pointed out that millions of Europeans travel during their peak
holiday season in July-August, but Siem Reap enjoys little of this
"This is because most of the media and the travel industry discourage
tourism to this part of the world at this time because it is the rainy
or monsoon season.
"But here in Siem Reap the rain is not really enough to stop tourists
enjoying themselves - it does rain on many days, and usually for only
one or two hours. Other than that, the weather here at this time of
year is quite welcoming with the same summer atmosphere enjoyed in
Europe.... Promotion for this area is not effective in informing
travellers that they can really enjoy Siem Reap throughout the year."