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Man about town

Best of Angkor Tour
THE World Monuments Fund’s Best of Angkor tour runs from February 6-11, and the group will be based at Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor. The tour will be led by John Stubbs, an adjunct associate professor of Columbia University’s School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation.

Stubbs is also vice-president of field projects at the World Monuments Fund (WMF) and is in charge of planning and coordinating the group’s various field projects and related activities in 16 countries.

In his role as overseer of WMF’s World Monuments Watch Program, he tracks progress at 115 additional sites.

The whirlwind tour will take in more than 15 temples but, like most WMF outings, only the well-heeled are catered for. Stubbs proves to be a very expensive tour guide. The whirlwind tour costs $2250, and does not include airfares, hotels etc. Two free dinners are provided and the fee also incorporates a tax-deductible $1000 “contribution” to WMF.

It’s an aerotropolis
SIEM Reap is not just getting a new international airport – it’s getting an “aerotropolis”, according to US-based Fast Company magazine.

An aerotropolis is a new urban form placing airports in the centre with cities growing around them, connecting workers, suppliers, executives and goods to the world marketplace. The term was originally devised by John D. Kasarda who works with regions and countries to leverage airports and their surrounding areas for economic growth.

According to Fast Company, the planned Siem Reap airport “fits the label of an aerotropolis”.

The magazine quotes Greg Lindsay, co-author of the forthcoming book, Aerotropolis: The Way We’ll Live Next, as saying: “The likely model for Cambodia’s aerotropolis is Subic Bay in the Philippines, which transformed the former US Navy base into a fairly large, high-tech manufacturing zone in the 1990s after FedEx opened its pan-Asian hub there.”

Lindsay added: “There’s a saying that ‘airlines don’t serve airports; they serve markets,’ meaning they want to go where passengers already are. In this case, the tourist draw of Angkor Wat could be a big help and considering the UN World Tourism Organisation expects China to have 100 million outbound tourists a year by 2020, Cambodia is probably trying to snag a few million.”

But the Siem Reap logistics still have some experts scratching their heads. As Fast Company pointed out, in 2009 Cambodia had 2.3 million visitors, but the annual capacity of the new airport will be 15 million, leaving a huge gap to be filled.

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